Three defendants convicted on federal antitrust charges related to a public foreclosure auction scheme requested new trials. According to the request, the defendants say pretrial motions unfairly limited their defense. Additionally, prosecutors referred to banks and homeowners as “victims.” The judge previously instructed prosecutors not to use the term.
Federal prosecutors accused he three defendants of Sherman Act violations and conspiring with other investors to lower action prices. According to federal prosecutors, the defendants conspired to purchase foreclosed properties at below-market prices. Following the county auction, the buyers held a second, private auction among themselves to determine who got the property.
The defendants’ first trial resulted in a hung jury. A new judge presided over the second trial, but allowed some instructions from the first trial to stand. At the center of the defendants’ request are the carryover instructions, which they say the prosecutors ignored.
Additionally, the government permitted conspirators who agreed to testify against the defendants to keep the properties they’d purchased at the second auctions. They argue that had the jury known that the cooperators benefited, the verdict may have been different.
The defendants will be sentenced on April 5. The judge has indicated that he will rule on the request for a new trial prior to the sentencing hearing.
Ventura Antitrust Lawyer
Antitrust trials are long because the subject matter is complex. They often rely on the testimony of experts, so it’s critical to bring together subject matter experts who can testify on your behalf. You need an experienced antitrust lawyer who can create an effective defense.
The conviction rate in federal prosecutions is extremely high. That’s because the government doesn’t try cases it doesn’t believe it can win. You need an attorney who will fight aggressively on your behalf. This ensures you can get the best possible outcome under the circumstances.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume there’s nothing you can do to help yourself. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County antitrust case.
Photo Credit: Karen Neoh, via Flickr.com