Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Colonial Palooza: Farkas Trial continues, and Lee gets bad news

It was Day #3 in the Lee Farkas trial, where the former Taylor Bean & Whitaker CEO is being tried on multiple counts of bank, wire and securities fraud in Alexandria, VA. Reporter Suevon Lee continues to provide coverage of the case.

The star witness today was former Colonial executive Teresa Kelly, who explained to the jury how TBW and Colonial executives perpetrated a fraud that brought down the once-mighty Colonial BancGroup and TBW, which was once the nation’s largest non-depository mortgage lender.

In another development, Farkas got some bad news as the trial began this week. He had earlier filed a motion to exclude expert testimony. His attorney had argued that witnesses the government had identified as “experts’ were actually three senior managers from Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

William Cummings, Farkas’s defense lawyer, argued that the government was trying to “disguise” these witnesses as “lay” experts in order to get around tighter disclosure standards.

In criminal trials, expert witnesses have greater latitude to testify to their opinions on subject areas of their expertise.

That motion was denied.


This almost certainly forces Cummings to put his client on the stand, and who knows what happens then. A defense lawyer never wants his client under cross examination, and neither does anyone else who may (or may not) be an unindicted co-conspirator. Especially if the defendant on the stand is trapped and has damning information on someone else.

It’s a dumpster fire. You never know what’s gonna blow or who it’s gonna burn.

The government has never identified the “Senior Colonial BancGroup Official” who, almost until the last day, was allegedly in constant communication with Farkas and other TBW executives about the fraudulent TARP application.

I won’t blog this trial daily, as I’m much too far away and depend on the media and court resources to keep up with it. I will however, keep readers posted on significant developments on this and other cases surrounding a curious group of individuals from central and east Alabama.

Stay tuned, sports fans. It’s gonna be a busy spring and summer.

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