Recent Notable Case: West Virginia Woman Found Not Guilty on All Counts
A West Virginia woman was charged in Garrett County, MD with fraud, identity theft, and theft. She was accused of using her adult son’s identity to obtain a loan online and had the funds electronically placed into her account. When her son, a resident of Garrett County, MD received notice from a collection agency advising him that he was past due on “his loan” he reported the online application as fraud. The police in Maryland immediately looked to the man’s mother, who had a prior history of bad check and fraud convictions. She came to Mr. Kadish to assist her criminal defense and swore that despite her prior history of theft and fraud, she had not made this application in her son’s name, and could not explain why the money ended up in her account.
What Happened Next
The prosecutor offered a plea of jail time, given the Defendant’s record of theft and fraud convictions. She discussed the plea offer with her husband and he told her to just take the plea, even though she maintained her innocence, as he didn’t think a judge would believe she was innocent this time given her record.
Mr. Kadish, in the courthouse hallway, repeated to the Defendant what he had been telling her for months during the pre-trial process, “if you are not guilty, then do not plea guilty”. After discussions with her husband and Mr. Kadish, she took our advice and went to trial.
The State’s first witness was a police officer, who withered under cross-examination. Mr. Kadish, noticing that the officer was repeatedly looking down, saw that he had brought notes with him and that he was simply (and improperly) reading from them. After making the appropriate motion, and having the judge instruct the officer to put his notes away, the officer became unable to answer questions, finally admitting that he really didn’t remember much about his investigation.
The prosecutor also called the Defendant’s own son, the victim of the identity theft, as a witness. Again, under intensive cross-examination, he admitted that he had no proof that it was his mother who applied for the loan or even knew that money had been deposited into her account.
The Missing Piece
Finally, in defense of his client, Mr. Kadish called his client’s husband to the stand to testify. Mr. Kadish was able to establish that during the time that the fraudulent loan had been applied for and received, the Defendant had allowed her daughter and her daughter’s husband to live with her.
During that time, the daughter and her husband (both of whom have a history of drug abuse and are unemployed) had access to the Defendant’s checkbook which she left out. Moreover, Mr. Kadish elicited testimony from the husband that she and the Defendant had let their daughter use her debit card to go to the store on multiple occasions.
Upon the close of the case, and the judge never having heard any evidence of the Defendant’s prior history of theft and fraud (all of which had been kept out of evidence by a motion made by Mr. Kadish at the start of the trial) the Defendant was found not guilty on all charges.
Going to trial is not an easy decision, especially when you have been accused by a family member and the odds are stacked against you. However, this August 2021 trial and its outcome are compelling proof that it is important to have a skilled attorney who is willing and capable of taking your case to trial, regardless of how hopeless you think your case is.
Call Mr. Kadish for a free consultation if you or a family member have been accused of a crime. We are here to help.