A federal appeals court recently overturned two of multiple fraud counts against the former chief executive of a bankrupt Indiana investment firm after prosecutors didn’t back up the charges with evidence.
Timothy Durham, the former chief executive of Indiana’s Fair Finance Co., in 2012 was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in a fraud that cheated some 5,000 investors out of more than $200 million.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on Thursday ruled that federal prosecutors’ failure to provide key evidence to back up two counts of wire fraud against Mr. Durham, while “clearly an oversight,” nevertheless warranted dropping the charges (h/t Indianapolis Star).
Specifically, Mr. Durham’s attorneys had argued that prosecutors didn’t provide evidence that a transfer of $250,000 and another of $50,000 constituted wire fraud. The appeals court agreed, citing the single-page printouts that showed that the transfers were made, but didn’t show how they were allegedly used to further the fraud.
“The government apparently intended to introduce additional evidence regarding the circumstances of these transfers but neglected to do so,” the court found. “Without the additional documentary evidence, the jury had no evidence about how the money was used.”