Former Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) employee David Parse, convicted in 2011 of helping run an illegal tax- shelter scheme, was denied a new trial on the ground that his lawyers didn’t properly represent him.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan granted a new trial for Parse’s three co-defendants in June, after a juror disclosed she had lied about her past as an alcoholic and a suspended attorney. Parse worked as an accountant for Deutsche Bank’s Alex. Brown unit.
Pauley let Parse’s conviction stand, ruling that his lawyers, from the New York firm Brune & Richard LLP, failed to reveal information they had about the juror, Catherine Conrad, whom the judge called a “pathological liar.”
The judge said in a ruling issued today that before jury deliberations began in the case, Parse’s defense team was suspicious that Conrad was a suspended lawyer yet didn’t investigate further. The judge said the defense lawyers made a “strategic decision” to allow Conrad, as Juror No. 1, onto the panel and that Parse can’t now claim their work was ineffective.
“Parse’s attorneys doubled down on their strategic decision when they filed a misleading motion for a new trial,” Pauley said today. “Brune & Richard’s serial disclosures led this court to conclude that Brune & Richard sought to prevent discovery of the strategic decision they made to keep an imposter on the jury.”
Pauley also said today that Parse didn’t fare worse at his trial as a result of his lawyers’ actions, noting that evidence showed that Parse participated in backdating of tax shelter transactions and concluding that he “would have been convicted even if his counsel behaved unimpeachably.”
Parse was convicted in May 2011 along with Paul Daugerdas, a former lawyer at the defunct law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist, and two others in a 10-year tax shelter scheme that generated more than $1 billion in phony losses.
The defendants claimed Conrad wouldn’t have been permitted to serve on the jury if she had told the truth about her background. Her presence on the panel deprived them of a fair trial, they said.
Paul Shechtman, a new lawyer for Parse, didn’t immediately return a voice-mail message left at his office seeking comment.
The case is U.S. v. Daugerdas, 09-cr-0581, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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