FINAZZO TRIAL SURPRISE: The defense in the Christopher Finazzo criminal trial surprisingly rested its case midday Tuesday, after beginning its presentation on Monday, without ever calling Finazzo to the stand.

Both U.S. prosecutors and the defense team will present their closing statements today. U.S. District Court Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf is expected to charge the 12-member jury panel afterwards. The judge will likely remind jurors in her final instructions that Finazzo is presumed innocent and that government prosecutors have the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The case could go to the jury by the end of the day.

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This story first appeared in the April 24, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Finazzo is the former chief merchandising officer at Aérospostale Inc., who was charged with 16 counts of mail and wire fraud, as well as conspiracy charges, in connection with an alleged multimillion-dollar kickback scheme. The trial began on April 8 with jury selection in a Brooklyn federal court.