Legal Issues and Courts and Appeal and Law

Judge denies ex-Countrymark CEO’s release from prison

September 9, 2011

A federal judge has denied former Countrymark CEO David Swanson’s request to be let out of prison until an appeals court hears his case for early release later this month.

The 68-year-old former financial executive is serving a 12-year sentence stemming from his 2002 conviction for wire fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

A federal appeals court in Chicago has agreed to hear his appeal claiming that his lawyers were derelict in not seeking a mistrial after the government presented its case.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker on Thursday denied his request for release, citing prosecutors’ concerns that Swanson is a flight risk.

“We simply are not convinced, given Swanson’s record, if given the opportunity to flee as opposed to returning to prison, that Swanson will obey this court’s orders,” she wrote.

A jury found Swanson guilty in October 2002 of stealing $2.7 million from Countrymark, an Indianapolis-based agricultural cooperative, in the 1990s.

He failed to appear for sentencing in January 2003 and was apprehended in Seattle about three weeks later.

Prosecutors also said in their arguments opposing Swanson’s motion to be released that the likelihood his appeal will be successful is “meager.”


 

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