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Former CEO's fraud trial postponed until next year

Most white collar crime charges have a tendency to be complex. Fraud accusations are no exception. One thread could link several companies and individuals as well as tremendous amounts of paper evidence. One of the best examples of this kind of crime is a case that Oregon residents may remember, the one involving a former Sunwest chief executive officer. However, it seems that the case is far from over as the trial has been moved to next year.

Two years ago, Jon Harder, the 49-year-old CEO and president of Sunwest, which has more than 700 partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations under its umbrella, was indicted on money laundering and fraud charges. He allegedly used a Ponzi-like scheme to steal from more than 1,000 investors and acquire $130 million for himself. He pleaded not guilty to the accusations. Sunwest management also seemed to be in trouble by leaving around 300 recently acquired assisted-living facilities and senior housing in the dark. The company was eventually reorganized and most of its holdings were bought by a private company.

The former CEO's trial was set for this month, but was recently pushed back to next spring. The U.S. Attorney's office did not comment on why the trial was moved to 2015. However, the former CEO's attorney stated that the rescheduled trial was necessary because of the complexity of the case.

This case illustrates how complex fraud cases can be at times. The right criminal defense strategy may aim to debunk faulty witness testimonies and evidence.

Source: The Republic, "Criminal trial for former Sunwest CEO Jon Harder delayed until 2015," Oct. 4, 2014

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