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Martha Stewart starts appeal
Stewart is back in court appealing her conviction for lying about a stock sale of ImClone in 2001.
March 17, 2005: 11:41 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN) - Martha Stewart returned to court Thursday to appeal her conviction for lying to the government about a personal sale of ImClone Systems stock in December 2001.

The homemaking expert has already served five months in prison on the conviction and was released two weeks ago to begin five months of home detention at her estate in Bedford, N.Y.

Stewart has run up a hefty legal tab while defending herself during the three-year-old case. On top of the criminal charges, Stewart still faces an insider trading lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Now it looks like a portion of her legal bills will be paid by her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (Research).

The New York-based company said in an SEC filing Wednesday that an independent specialist determined Stewart was entitled to $3.7 million for certain expenses related to her legal defense. The company said it believed the amount would be covered under its insurance coverage for officers and directors.

Stewart had asked the company for the $3.7 million reimbursement last year, according to a separate SEC filing made in November.

The $3.7 million figure applied to her successful defense on a single criminal count -- a charge that she tried to lift the company's share price, and her own wealth, in 2002 by declaring she was innocent of insider trading. The judge in the case dismissed that charge.

Unlike the other charges against her, the price-boosting allegation was more closely connected with her official position at Martha Stewart Living.

At the time that Stewart allegedly tried to inflate the company's share price she was acting as CEO and chairman. She eventually shed both titles when she was indicted in June 2003. She now serves as founding editorial director.

Stewart, 63, was convicted a year ago on four charges of obstruction of justice and securities fraud relating to theImClone (down $1.58 to $38.27, Research) sale.

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