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Deutsche Bank Broker Freed in $7B Tax Fraud Case

Deutsche Bank Broker Freed in $7B Tax Fraud Case

November 18, 2015

Former Deutsche Bank broker has been largely freed of the U.S. government’s charges against him in a reversal spurred by a juror with a colorful past, including allegations of punching a police officer and stealing a bag of shrimp while drunk.

Former Deutsche Bank broker David Parse was granted a deferred prosecution agreement that acquitted him of the bulk of the charges against him at a pretrial hearing on Monday, his lawyer, Barry Berke, said. Parse, a certified public accountant with Deutsche Bank’s Alex. Brown & Sons unit,  will be released of the remaining two charges after one year, said Berke of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.

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Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman with the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office, which brought the charges, declined to comment.

It’s the latest prosecution to be overhauled in the 2009 tax case, thanks to wayward juror Catherine Conrad, who admitted at a 2012 hearing to lying about her life in order to win a front-row seat at the 2011 trial.

Parse and three others alleged co-conspirators were convicted at the 2011 trial, including former BDO Seidman CEO Denis Field. A fifth defendant, Deutsche Bank banker Raymond Craig Brubaker, was acquitted on all counts at the same trial.

Prosecutors had charged the group of tax lawyers and bank brokers with helping wealthy individuals avoid taxes for a decade, resulting in more than $7 billion in losses to the government. At the time, it was described as one of the largest criminal tax frauds in history.

The case took an unusual turn, however, when it emerged that Conrad had lied about her colorful background to win a seat on the jury. The concern was that the defendants could not trust Conrad’s vows that she had been impartial.

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Conrad presented herself as a stay-at-home wife from Westchester, N.Y., but she was actually a suspended lawyer who lived in the Bronx, it emerged at the post-trial hearing.

Conrad had once been charged with punching a police officer and admitted at the hearing to stealing a bag of shrimp at a convenience store while drunk. In addition to her own past with petty crime and lying about her address, Conrad also failed to reveal her husband’s criminal record, including auto theft.

At the post-trial hearing, Conrad called the defendants “crooks.” This, combined with false representations about her identity, led all four convictions to be overturned, although it took Parse until this year to be granted a new trial.

Monday’s deal means Parse won’t have to face retrial, and the remaining charges against him will soon be dropped, his lawyer said Monday.

“David Parse was acquitted of virtually all of the charges against him at trial, and we are very pleased that the remaining two will be dismissed as well,” Berke said Monday. “David and his family have never wavered in their belief in his innocence, and he had the courage to persevere through this long and unfortunate ordeal.”

Field, the former BDO Seidman CEO, was acquitted of all charges in a 2013 retrial that was also prompted by the problematic juror.

The two other defendants who had their verdicts overturned due to the juror — both former partners of law firm Jenkins Gilchrist — were re-convicted at trial or have pleaded guilty to charges of aiding the tax fraud scheme. Several other defendants pleaded guilty to the charges in 2009.

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Article courtesy of USA Today & photo credit: