David Parse, an accountant convicted in what a judge called the biggest U.S. tax-fraud prosecution in history, is seeking a new trial on the grounds that his lawyers were inadequate.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley in June granted a new trial for Parse’s three codefendants, after a juror disclosed she had lied about her past including that she was an alcoholic and a suspended attorney. 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 Pauley called a “pathological liar.”
“As the court found, a reasonably competent lawyer on learning that Juror No. 1 might be a suspended lawyer with a history of alcoholism would have taken some action to resolve the issue,” Parse said in court papers filed today in Manhattan federal court. “Choosing to do nothing was not a viable option.”
In May 2011, the jury including Conrad returned guilty verdicts against Paul Daugerdas and Donna Guerin, former Jenkens & Gilchrist lawyers; Denis Field, the former chief executive officer at accounting firm BDO Seidman LLP; and Parse, who worked for Deutsche Bank AG unit Alex. Brown. Craig Brubaker, a second former Alex. Brown accountant, was found not guilty.
Pauley ruled that Conrad’s presence on the jury deprived Parse’s codefendants of a fair trial. Parse’s lawyers waived the issue by failing to alert the court of information it had about Conrad, he ruled.
The 10-week tax fraud trial included 9,200 pages of testimony from 41 witnesses. Lawyers introduced 1,300 pieces of evidence.
The case is U.S. v. Daugerdas, 09-CR-581, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).