September 15, 2010
Government "Finally" Dismisses Charges in Enron Barge Case
The government filed a Motion to Dismiss - with prejudice - charges against James A. Brown on Counts One, Two, and Three. The former Merrill Lynch banker had been charged as part of the Enron Barge case. An appeal on the motion for a new trial on Counts IV and V remains.
This has been a case that has a long history with claims of discovery violations on the part of the Enron Task Force. The defense had argued that "[a]fter Brown's trial and appeal, a new prosecutor finally produced the government's notes of multiple conversations with Fastow, the grand jury testimony of Merrill counsel, and other Brady material - all which proves Brown's innocence on all charges." here
The original case was discussed on this blog back in 2005. And a lot has happened since the sentencing of back then.
What is interesting now is that it takes the government until today to dismiss these counts - with a trial date that had been set for September 20th. Is it really necessary to wait right up to the trial date to dismiss? One can only imagine the costs to the defense of preparing for trial?
Motion to Dismiss - Download Dkt. 1263 MTD
Addendum - Opposition to Continuance - Download Dkt. 1252 Brown's Opposition to Continuance
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An unfortunate trend. In USA v. Singer (D.S.C., 2010), the government dismissed outright 3 defendants a couple months before trial, and entered a DPA with a fourth on the eve of jury selection -- after more than 6 years of investigation and FOUR YEARS of post-indictment trial prep and motions practice. In granting a judgment of acquittal for the remaining 2 defendants on Rule 29, the judge dropped a footnote blasting the govt for waiting so long if it was clear that they could not proceed to trial on the other 4, and noted the tens of millions unecessarily wasted on defense costs.
Posted by: PDXWhiteCollarGuy | Sep 16, 2010 9:06:51 AM