Friday, April 2, 2010

Broad defends pal facing 20 felony charges

If you read “The Broad Effect”: Part Two, you’ll already know about the connections between some of these characters.

Broad’s friend faced 20 felony charges of securities fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and making false statements in securities filings.

The billionaire philanthropist, who co-founded the home-building firm, follows former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan in vouching for Karatz at his stock-options backdating trial.

The celebrity endorsements of former KB Home Chief Executive Bruce Karatz resumed Friday morning when billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad took the witness stand to defend the character of the man federal prosecutors say made millions of dollars in illegal profits by secretly backdating stock options.

Broad, who co-founded the company that became KB Home in 1957 and later operated SunAmerica insurance company, told jurors that he had known Karatz for 38 years and considered him to be a man of impeccable integrity.

"I know of no instance in those 38 years where he's done anything unlawful or improper," Broad said under questioning from defense attorney John Keker…

During his brief testimony, Broad said he and Karatz were longtime friends who met regularly for dinner…

Before Broad took the witness stand, U.S. District Court Judge Otis D. Wright II said he was concerned to learn that a juror had a brief conversation with former Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan after he testified Thursday as a character witness for Karatz…
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Special features on Karatz's KB Home: