Judge To Decide What Evidence Will Be Allowed In Property Flip Scheme Case
June 25, 2014 at 11:16 PM CDT - Updated July 21 at 12:01 AM
Geena Martinez NewsWest 9
PERMIAN BASIN - Federal Judge Robert Junell will decide in the coming weeks what he feels should be allowed in court.
Stephen Hilliard, Michael Cowan, Cynthia Hirsch and Berta McFaddin are all set to go to trial for their roles in an alleged same-day property flip scheme.
According to court records, the scheme went on from March 2003 until August 2011.
Hilliard and Cowan would buy property, then sell the same property, the same day, at a higher price to another one of their investment companies.
They took out mortgage loans by submitting fake and misleading documents to the bank. Some of the evidence up for consideration in the trial involved conversations between bank employees and the defendants.
Attorneys for the United States say the defense will try to argue that the bank employees were negligent since they didn't catch any red flags when handing out the mortgages.
The defense says they're not blaming the victim but rather they want the evidence allowed in court for the jury because it's critical to prove their clients were not intending to de-fraud anyone.
Defense attorneys also want evidence admitted into trial that shows their clients re-paid many of the loans they took out for the alleged scheme they feel this will show the jury the defendants acted in good faith and fraud wasn't the intent.
However, the prosecution says regardless if they paid back the loans or not...this information isn't relevant to the guilt/innocence phase of the case.
That trial is set for September 2nd but the defendants have until July 17th to decide if they want to plead guilty
If convicted, they each face up to 30 years in prison.