Prosecutors may not call Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett as a witness in a criminal trial of former officers of its General Re reinsurance unit, according to a court filing.
Opening arguments are scheduled to begin on January 7 in the trial of four former General Re officers -- including one-time Chief Executive Ronald Ferguson -- who were indicted for allegedly scheming to help insurer American International Group inflate reserves on its books. A former AIG officer was also indicted.
Last month, prosecutors named Buffett as a witness in the case, along with several AIG officials and Wall Street analysts.
"The reason Mr. Buffett appears on the government's witness list is to rebut any suggestion by the defendants that he was involved in or approved" the fraudulent transaction at the heart of the case, prosecutors said in the December 31 court filing.
"Absent this evidence, the government does not intend to call him as witness in its case ... and create a distracting 'trial within a trial,"' the filing said.
Last month, CNBC reported that Buffett may be called as a defense witness by at least one of the defendants.