A judge has thrown out the convictions of former BDO Seidman chairman and CEO Denis Field and two attorneys who were convicted last year of tax fraud, calling one of the jurors a pathological liar who had falsified her background and tainted the trial.
Field had been convicted, along with three other co-defendants, in May 2011 of running a massive tax shelter scheme. Paul M. Daugerdas, the former head of the Chicago office of the law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist; Donna M. Guerin, a tax lawyer and shareholder at J&G’s Chicago office; and David Parse, a former Deutsche Bank broker, were convicted along with Field, who was the former head of BDO’s national tax practice. According to prosecutors, they had designed, marketed and implemented fraudulent tax shelters that cost the government more than $7 billion between 1994 and 2004.
A BDO spokesman declined to comment, pointing out that Field had left the firm years ago.
U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III ordered a new trial for Field, Daugerdas and Guerin, but not for Parse. The judge found that Parse’s attorney had suspected the juror had lied about her background, but failed to warn the court before the case went to the jury. He allowed Parse’s conviction to stand.
Pauley harshly criticized the juror for concealing her background. She was a suspended attorney and had a criminal record, as did her husband, according to the Associated Press. She also said she lived in Westchester County when she actually lived in the Bronx, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
“While Conrad claimed that she was a ‘fair and unbiased’ juror, this court cannot credit that assertion,” Pauley said in an opinion. “Conrad is a pathological liar and utterly untrustworthy.”
She admitted during a hearing in February that she had assaulted a police officer who had arrested her for drunk driving, and stolen a bag of shrimp on another occasion. She confessed that she had lied about her background during the jury selection process in order to make herself “more marketable” as a juror.
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