Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ColonialPalooza: Lee Farkas asks for delay in trial date

lee_farkas_E_20101012153525 Lee Farkas, the former CEO of failed mortgage company Taylor Bean & Whitaker, has filed for a continuance in his federal trial on bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy.  TBW filed for bankruptcy in summer 2009 at the height of the banking crisis. That failure led to the seizure of the once-mighty Colonial Bank, which also filed for bankruptcy. The Colonial failure instantly crumbled the financial empire of CEO Bobby Lowder.

The trial is scheduled to begin early next month, but Farkas’ defense team is requesting a continuance until late may or early June. The Court is expected to rule on the motion by Friday of this week.

In court documents released late yesterday, defense lawyer William Cummings accuses the horde of lawyers and accountants involved in the Colonial bankruptcy case of dragging their feet and hiding behind a shield of attorney-client privilege. He believes they hold documents that are critical to his client’s defense and are refusing to produce them.

In a bit of a twist to the case, Cummings also believes that the recent plea agreements reached by two of his former executives and a former executive at Colonial represent “potentially exonerating evidence,” and that the defense team needs additional time to prepare for trial.

Regular readers of IBCR will remember that on February 28, I reported that the deals reached by Desiree Brown and Catherine Kissick were “just the start.” At the hearing in which Ms. Brown copped a plea and agreed to cooperate, Cummings told reporters that Farkas himself was considering a deal for his testimony.

Exit Question: Does Farkas really need more time to prepare for a case that’s been under indictment since June 2010, or does he just need more time to negotiate?

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