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OT&T: Turner Found Guilty on 1 Charge in Retrial

Posted By: hobie
Date: Saturday, 25-Aug-2001 01:55:25
www.rumormill.news/10893

In Response To: OT&T: 2 More Plead Guilty, Final Trial Begins Wed. (hobie)

from http://www.jg-tc.com

-----

August 21, 2001

Turner guilty on 1 of 2 charges

Nine third-party checks from Dubai were key evidence for
jury's decision

BY CARL WALWORTH

City Editor

URBANA - A former correctional officer with the Coles County Sheriff's Department is on the other side of the cell today after a federal jury on Monday found him guilty on the more serious of two charges he faced.

James Turner, 51, was taken into custody after being found guilty of money laundering conspiracy in connection with the Omega Trust and Trading case. The jury acquitted Turner of conducting a financial transaction with proceeds of illegal activity.

The verdict came about five minutes after U.S. District Judge Mike McCuskey responded to a jury question about whether its verdict could be different on each charge. The instructions to the jury required that the jury consider each charge separately.

The maximum prison sentence for the money laundering charge is 20 years. Sentencing was set for January.

Turner, who resigned from the sheriff's department after being indicted last August, was stoic when the verdict was read after about 2.5 hours of deliberations. His family members, though, were visibly upset both at the verdict and the decision to take Turner into custody prior to sentencing.

By going to trial, Turner knew he risked a substantially longer sentence than the eight months he may have received had he accepted a plea agreement.

To arrive at the verdict, the jury determined that at some point Turner "joined" or became part of the Omega conspiracy that defrauded more than 10,000 people of more than $20 million from 1994 to August 2000. Co-conspirators do not have to be part of the conspiracy from the beginning.

In acquitting Turner on one count, the jury could have reasoned that Turner wasn't a "knowing" member of the conspiracy when the single transaction cited in the indictment occurred. The transaction in early 1997 involved Turner accepting nine third party checks for $9,000 each drawn on a bank in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The verdict came a little more than three weeks after McCuskey ruled the first Turner trial a mistrial. That jury deliberated for parts of three days and reported that nine of the 12 jurors were voting for acquittal.

"There were a few changes but essentially the evidence was the same," defense attorney John Gadau said outside the courtroom. "I'm not happy."

Turner's wife, Brenda, had no comment.

Prosecutors Esteban Sanchez and Colin Bruce were pleased that the jury found that Turner knew, or should have known, about the fraudulent program operated by Clyde D. Hood of Mattoon. Omega participants were told to expect $5,100 on a $100 investment in about nine months. No one received any return.

Sanchez said the jury could have concluded that Turner joined the conspiracy after accepting the checks from Dubai.

"If that is their thinking, I cannot quarrel with that," Sanchez said.

In his closing argument to the jury, Bruce reviewed a series of transactions he said showed that Turner joined the conspiracy, including transactions involving large amounts of cash ($120,000 in $20 bills in one instance).

"There was not a logical and reasonable explanation for all that cash," Sanchez said.

The verdict closes the trial stage of the case. The next hearings involve sentencing for the 19 defendants and forfeiture matters related to property acquired with illegally obtained money.

[snip]

-----




RMN is an RA production.

Articles In This Thread

Dubya Tonight, OT&T Tomorrow
hobie -- Tuesday, 27-Feb-2001 09:39:39
Dark Angel / Light Weight
vonMonke -- Tuesday, 27-Feb-2001 22:38:26
Re: Dark Angel / Light Weight
hobie -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 04:39:04
Re: Dark Angel / Light Weight
vonMonke -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 08:22:51
I Think My Knee Jerked A Little
vonMonke -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 09:00:38
Re: Dark Angel / Light Weight
hobie -- Wednesday, 28-Feb-2001 10:44:03
OT&T: McNabb likely to defend, Fed expert witness
hobie -- Thursday, 1-Mar-2001 14:36:31
McNabb to Defend in Mattoon OT&T Case
hobie -- Saturday, 17-Mar-2001 18:21:31
More Guilty Pleas in Mattoon
hobie -- Sunday, 25-Mar-2001 12:37:39
2 More Plead Guilty in Mattoon OT&T Case
hobie -- Friday, 6-Apr-2001 17:03:51
Clyde & Pat Hood Plead Guilty in OT&T Case
hobie -- Wednesday, 11-Apr-2001 17:35:37
OT&T Case Moves to Springfield Courthouse
hobie -- Friday, 13-Apr-2001 14:22:57
11th OT&T guilty plea, jury selection starts Tues.
hobie -- Saturday, 28-Apr-2001 05:38:38
OT&T Trial Goes Back to Urbana, 3 More Pleas
hobie -- Thursday, 3-May-2001 08:04:39
OT&T Defendant Speaks of Government Threats
hobie -- Wednesday, 9-May-2001 16:11:38
OT&T: MICHAEL KODOSKY SEEKS HONEST MEDIA ATTENTION
hobie -- Thursday, 10-May-2001 11:37:40
Re: OT&T: MICHAEL KODOSKY - CHANGE OF PLAN
hobie -- Friday, 11-May-2001 16:56:04
OT&T: Continuance Delays Mattoon Case
hobie -- Friday, 25-May-2001 04:39:29
OT&T: Calif Woman Goes on Trial in Omega Case
hobie -- Monday, 11-Jun-2001 14:56:30
OT&T: Diamond Trial Continues, 'Quadrillions'
hobie -- Tuesday, 19-Jun-2001 15:43:29
OT&T: Investors Testify, Say Still Trust Diamond
hobie -- Tuesday, 26-Jun-2001 13:38:10
OT&T: Diamond Found Guilty on All Eight Counts
hobie -- Friday, 6-Jul-2001 10:45:06
OT&T: 2 More Plead Guilty, Final Trial Begins Wed.
hobie -- Tuesday, 10-Jul-2001 17:47:09
OT&T: Hung Jury / Mistrial, in Turner Case
hobie -- Friday, 27-Jul-2001 15:44:12
OT&T: Turner Found Guilty on 1 Charge in Retrial
hobie -- Saturday, 25-Aug-2001 01:55:25

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AN EXPLANATION OF THE FACTIONS