One of three defense attorneys who are delivering closing statements in the SEC case against former executives at AOL and PurchasePro.com managed to get his turn this afternoon.
Terrence Reed, a name partner at Lankford, Coffield & Reed — which is representing former PurchasePro official Christopher Benyo — criticized the SEC arguments that his client aided and abetted a sham $3.7 million transaction in 2001 to boost revenues at his old company.
Reed said government attorneys were trying to paint his client and co-defendants as "securities fraud violators." He called that "a reputation-destroying label that will follow Mr. Benyo and these other gentlemen for the rest of their lives."
Former America Online Inc. attorney Kent Wakeford is represented by Dewey & Leboeuf's Henry Asbill, Kerri Ruttenberg and Paul Hugel. Former PurchasePro executive Michael Kennedy is represented by David Schertler and Daniel Onorato of Schertler & Onorato.
Closing arguments will resume at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow and jurors will most likely begin deliberating in the afternoon, said Senior Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.