IBJNews

Developer loses fraud appeal

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A former Indianapolis real estate developer has lost an appeal challenging his conviction that he committed fraud on a financial institution.

A three-judge panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed Christopher White’s 2009 conviction resulting from a $500,000 bad check he wrote as he tried to save his real estate development firm, Premier Properties USA Inc.

A Marion Superior Court judge sentenced White to one year on home detention and three years of probation, and also ordered him to pay $382,486 in restitution to The National Bank of Indianapolis.

On appeal, White claimed his counsel was ineffective at trial and that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction.

The appellate judges, however, affirmed the jury’s guilty verdict.

White’s conviction on the fraud charge stemmed from a $500,000 check he wrote in 2008 to make payroll, as financial and legal troubles mounted on the company he founded. The check, deposited to an account at NBI, was drawn on an account at Chase with a balance of less than $1,000.

White argued on appeal that he had previously transferred money or made deposits to cover overdrafts, and this instance was no different. But an NBI executive testified that the transfer was unusual because the bad check had been presented from another bank, Chase, for deposit at NBI.

“White ordered the issuance of a check that he knew had virtually no value for deposit with NBI, waited until the payroll had been paid, and then informed NBI that the check would be dishonored,” Appellate Judge Ezra Friedlander wrote. “The evidence is sufficient to support White’s conviction for fraud on a financial institution.”

White also argued on appeal that his trial counsel was ineffective because it should have called an NBI employee who handled his personal and business accounts as a witness.

But the trial court found that her testimony at a previous hearing would not have altered the outcome of the trial.

White’s Premier Properties developed the Metropolis shopping center in Plainfield.

Premier built a reputation for taking on daring projects with little margin for error, but when credit markets tightened, troubles quickly mounted. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2008. A month later, a judge converted the case to Chapter 7 and ordered the company to be liquidated.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Where are all the other convictions?
    What about all the bankers who screwed the whole economy buying assets on paper for which they didn't actually have any money? When will they be charged?
  • Just Another Failed Appeal
    What can I say? Just another failed appeal from a conviction that was not going to be reversed.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

  2. Shouldn't this be a museum

  3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

  4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

  5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

ADVERTISEMENT