Jury finds Draper guilty of charges in beef plant case

Paul Quinn, a student intern writing from Oxford for the Clarion Ledger, has the story.

A refrigeration company sales representative accused of pocketing funds for equipment at a beef processing plant has been found guilty of charges related to the failed business.

A jury in Oxford this afternoon convicted James Draper of Mount Juliet, Tenn., of money laundering and interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud.

Draper faces up to 30 years in prison and $750,000 in fines on two charges.

It is the first time someone charged in connection with the failed venture in Yalobusha County has gone on trial. Continue reading “Jury finds Draper guilty of charges in beef plant case”

Einstein applied to the politics of insurance

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

We surely can’t – particularly if we’re thinking about an entirely different problem than the one we’re trying to solve.

Einstein, of course, would never have given doing such a moments thought. I, on the other hand, am no Einstein but take some measure of comfort in knowing he understood how the rest of us could mismatch problems and solutions.

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

In our post-Katrina world, property insurance has become “a kind of optical delusion” of all things insurance.

This realization – AKA my Aha! Moment on the politics of insurance – came as I was reading the first paragraph of the draft policy statement of the National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) on Insurance Regulatory Modernization.

Insurance serves as the cornerstone of the economy. Continue reading “Einstein applied to the politics of insurance”

Perdigao files for reconsideration of recusal and renewed request for evidentiary hearing

Brass, just gotta be brass.

As more fully set forth herein, defendant respectfully requests that the court reconsider its order denying the defendant’s motion to recuse, forthwith hold an evidentiary hearing, and issue more specific findings of fact and conclusions of law in order to properly comply with Fed.R.Crim.P. 12(d).

Proposed Memorandum in Support of Motion for Reconsideration and Renewed Request for Evidentiary Hearing here

Undersigned counsel had no notice that the status conference scheduled for June 6, 2008 would be anything other than a status conference preparatory to the evidentiary hearing scheduled for June 19, 2008. Without any notice to defense counsel, the court turned the status conference into a formal court hearing wherein the court ruled on the motion to recuse and request for evidentiary hearing.

Subsequently, the court issued its Order and Reasons entered on July 9, 2008 denying the defendant’s motion to recuse and request for evidentiary hearing (hereinafter the “Order and Reasons”). See R. Doc. 117. The defendant respectfully suggests that the Order and Reasons are inadequate and deficient in that Fed.R.Crim.P. 12(d) requires that the court state its essential findings on the record. As more fully set forth below, the court failed to review and summarize the evidence, identify and address the hotly contested factual issues, and resolve them on the record as required by law.

Continue reading “Perdigao files for reconsideration of recusal and renewed request for evidentiary hearing”

News and views re: Scruggs, Scruggs, and Backstrom UPDATED

The Daily Journal reports

Court documents released today show Dickie will spend his 60 months in a federal facility in Ashland, Ky., while Zach will spend his 14 months in Pensacola, Fla.

Item #1 – or rather Items #1 and #2 – are identical motions regarding the recent deposition of Dick Scruggs and his son Zach filed by State Farm in the McIntosh case.

COMES NOW, the Defendant, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (hereinafter “State Farm”), by and through its counsel of record, and files this, its Motion for Leave to File its EmergencyMotion to Compel Richard Scruggs and supporting Exhibit A [Richard Scruggs deposition transcript taken July 22, 2008] under seal, and would show unto the Court as follows, to-wit:

Counsel for State Farm took the deposition of Richard Scruggs in this case on July 22, 2008.

Counsel for Richard Scruggs has stated that they intend to move this Court to seal Mr. Scruggs’s deposition transcript. State Farm is, therefore, as a courtesy to Mr. Scruggs, asking that this motion be filed under seal, only so as not to frustrate and render moot the relief Mr. Scruggs seeks. State Farm does so without prejudice to, and without waiver of, any position it may take on Mr. Scruggs’s motion to seal.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, for the foregoing reasons, State Farm respectfully moves this Court to enter an Order allowing State Farm to file its Emergency Motion to Compel Richard Scruggs (including Exhibit A) under seal pending ruling on Richard Scruggs’ motion to seal his deposition transcript.

Go figure. However, if State Farm has added common courtesy to its legal strategy, I want to be the first to offer praise and positive reinforcement. Continue reading “News and views re: Scruggs, Scruggs, and Backstrom UPDATED”

Latest bull on the beef plant

According to today’s Daily Journal, only closing arguments remain before the jury begins deliberation in the trial of James Draper.

Testimony in the federal fraud and money laundering trial of James Draper ended Tuesday after the defendant said he knew nothing of plant owner Richard Hall’s intentions to defraud the state of Mississippi.

Draper’s charges stem from the failed Mississippi Beef Processors plant that the state helped fund in Oakland.

Draper, the refrigeration equipment salesman, deposited a $187,725 check from the state for equipment that was never purchased, then turned over all but $20,000 – an amount he said he was owed for expenses incurred in helping Hall research equipment purchases – to Mississippi Beef Processors. Hall allegedly then converted the $167,725 to personal use. Hall created an invoice to justify the check.

All of that we’ve heard before but it’s what comes next that inspired the title of this post. Continue reading “Latest bull on the beef plant”