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Jury: Real estate execs Bales, Spencer not guilty of fraud

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SOUTH BEND — John M. Bales lifted his crossed hands to his face and began to cry Thursday evening as a federal judge read the same jury verdict on each of 13 fraud counts against the real estate broker and his partner: Not guilty.

Sighs of relief turned to sobs among family and friends of Bales and William E. Spencer as U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. read the jury's verdict, reached after eight hours of deliberation ended about 5:30 p.m.

As the jurors filed out, a tearful Spencer looked toward the group and mouthed, "Thank you."

Bales also thanked the jury of seven men and five women in a statement sent via his attorneys.

"Few things have brought more pride than the small part I played in helping the children in need," Bales wrote, referring to his role in finding office space for Indiana's Department of Child Services. "I won't let this legal ambush change that. I did not deserve this nightmare and pray that no other citizen suffers what I experienced."

Spencer's attorney, Bernard Pylitt, said in a statement that the evidence was clear Spencer violated no laws.

"It has been a difficult few years for the entire Spencer family," Pylitt wrote. "Shame on the federal government for the harm that this indictment and trial caused."

The jury's verdict followed an eight-day trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana that included testimony from several Indianpolis power brokers and repeated references to a federal investigation that targets former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.

Bales and Spencer, both 45 and principals in Venture Real Estate Services, were facing 13 felony counts, including wire, mail and bank fraud. Indianapolis attorney Paul J. Page, who was also charged, agreed in January to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud in exchange for cooperating with federal prosecutors. 

The prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jesse M. Barrett, declined to comment after the judge read the ruling Thursday.

The government said Bales and Spencer provided a down payment so Page could buy a building in Elkhart to lease to the state's Department of Child Services, without disclosing Venture's involvement to the state. The government said the deal violated an agreement between Venture and the state that barred the company from direct or indirect ownership of properties where state agencies leased space. But the defense argued the arrangement amounted to a loan.

The defense argued there were no victims in the Elkhart deal, no loss and no intent to defraud: The state wound up leasing the building it wanted, and the bank loan on the property is current and paid. The defense attorneys argued the arrangement was Venture's way of helping the state close a difficult lease deal and help DCS escape a crime-plagued former office.

"This is no scheme to defraud the state of Indiana," defense attorney Larry A. Mackey argued in his opening statement Jan. 28. "This was a scheme, frankly, to help."

The government disagreed: "Bales and Spencer decided to make extra money on a state deal, even though they're not allowed to, and then they hid it," Barrett said in his own opening statement.

The government argued that a fraud scheme led by Bales began to unravel in July 2009 when Page withdrew about $50,000 from a bank account that collected rent payments from a state-leased office building in Elkhart.

On paper, that wasn’t a problem, since Page controlled the company, L&BAB LLC, which owned the building. Page had taken out a loan from Huntington Bank to buy the property in 2008, and the Department of Child Services moved in shortly thereafter.

But the bank withdrawal was an urgent concern for Bales and his partners at Venture Real Estate Services. The broker believed the move violated an unrecorded mortgage agreement: A Bales-controlled company called BAB Equity LLC had secretly given Page his $362,000 down payment in exchange for 25 percent of any profits. The bank was told Page would be the 100-percent owner.

The principals at Venture felt that to protect their investment they had no choice but to reveal the partnership with a state landlord, so the company hurriedly placed a back-dated mortgage on the property.

“We are about to be outed like it or not,” Bales deputy Greg Rankin wrote in an e-mail federal prosecutors had hoped to introduce as evidence in their case.

Judge Miller ultimately ruled that Rankin emails and others from fellow Venture principal Wendy Michael could not be admitted since the government had not met its burden in showing that Rankin and Michael were co-conspirators with Bales and Spencer.

The ruling was a big victory for the defense, but it didn't stop the government from introducing more than a dozen other documents it claimed demonstrated a cover-up.

Barrett wrapped his closing arguments Wednesday by showing the jury poster-size versions of financial statements from Bales and Spencer. The men had submitted the statements to another bank as they considered whether to buy the Elkhart building outright from Page in the summer of 2009.

The transaction, which never materialized, would have been an unequivocal violation of Venture's agreement with the state.

But Barrett told the jury they should focus on the way Bales and Spencer categorized their interest in BAB Equity: Both put it under categories that included other real estate assets. Bales pegged the value of his stake at $290,000, and Spencer said his was worth $51,350.

Witnesses for the government included former Indiana Department of Administration commissioners Carrie Henderson and Mark Everson, state leasing director Steve Harless and former Indianapolis deputy mayor Michael Huber.

Matthew Dyer, Venture's former controller, said he disagreed with Bales and Spencer that the company's involvement in the Elkhart deal amounted to a loan.

"Equity means ownership," Dyer testified. "If it was truly a loan, I would have called it BAB Loan or BAB Mortgage."

The prosecution ended its case with a full day of testimony from FBI Special Agent Brian Percival that included several references to Brizzi, though the parties carefully avoided any reference to his position as a public servant in front of the jury.

The defense led off its case with testimony from former Department of Child Services Director James W. Payne, a long-time juvenile judge in Marion County.

Payne told the jury that Venture did a good job for DCS, delivering on a promise to find office space in Elkhart better suited for the agency's staff and children they serve.

To catch up on all of IBJ's coverage on the Bales trial and Elkhart deal, click here.

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  • Observer
    Great comments observer - I think your mostly right - although we will never know. I like your questions and we know they will not be answered - atleast here, but they really are in some of the other fidings you had listed. I wish I knew you - good points and I am employed, but would like to work with you - I think :) !
  • Morally Corrupt
    Sorry, meant white collar criminals! Goes for Wendy Michael, and Caroline Karanja, too. Hope they all squirm and are subject to closer scrutiny for their dealings, for a very long time to come.
  • Morally Corrupt
    Bales and his associates were, are and forever will be morally corrupt, arrogant and vile blue collar criminals. They were apparently too well connected to be convicted.
  • Qui Tam
    This seems like a perfect situation for a qui tam action, disgorge any properties like the Kokomo one--that is if anyone even wants such a decrepit building.
  • And one last thing
    Can one of John's supporters again explain how this is not a violation of his state contract that clearly stated he was not allowed to have an interest in such buildings, and also how the hel* and more importantly WHY these employees were relocated to this dump from a brand new building? The downtown building that houses the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration is unsafe for human habitation according to the city of Kokomo building inspector, and it has been closed indefinitely. According to Inspector Nick Glover, severe water leaks forced him to order the building at 400 N. Main St. closed. “They will not reopen until the replace the roof,” said Glover. “It needs to be either repaired or replaced, and the property owners have opted to replace it, which is fine with me.” This is not the first time the building has been shut down this year. Glover ordered it closed from Jan. 12-16 for a similar leaking problem. In that incident, the building’s owner hired contractors to perform repair work that apparently did not address the problem. “The plan was to temporarily patch it, but the job either didn’t do the trick, or there were spots they didn’t get to,” said Glover. The leaking roof allowed water to encroach the building’s electrical distribution panels and light fixtures, causing an immediate fire hazard. The building also possesses drop ceilings, and the tiles became inundated with water and collapsed. “Once they get to five or seven pounds, they collapse and create falling debris,” said Glover. The problems at the FSSA building are nothing new. In fact, the past two years have been filled with hazardous conditions, collapsing structures, and environmental concerns. Employees first reported problems in September 2011 when water began leaking into the building and making its way through three stories to the ground floor, running down walls and filling light fixtures. Ceiling tiles began collapsing, exposing soaked insulation. And after each rain that caused the leaking, a sewage smell filled the building. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) investigated on Nov. 1, and the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) investigated on Dec. 20, 2011. The results of their testing came back showing legitimate problems, but none of them approached the level of immediate risk. As a result of those problems, FSSA employees reported respiratory problems, and several were treated for allergic reactions to mold. Other contaminants found during testing included lead and an elevated level of carbon dioxide. On Jan. 26, 2012, FSSA building was shut down due to multiple structural problems, including a leaking roof, sewage in the basement, and bricks falling from the rear of the building. The building was reopened on Jan. 28, but problems continued. The building is owned by Venture Real Estate a firm headed by real estate broker John M. Bales. Bales was a big donor to the campaigns of Gov. Mitch Daniels and the Indiana Republican Party. Since 2006, many state offices in several communities relocated to Venture Real Estate-owned properties. The Kokomo FSSA office similarly relocated from a newly constructed facility on East Superior Street and into the Venture-owned building.
    • Clarification
      . Not sure why the judge did not allow the emails I readfrom other folks associated with Venture that contained worries about being "outted." What is there to be "outted" I meant to say the references I read online to emails from other folks associated with Venture. Again, I do not know John Bales nor have I read any documents associated with his criminal case. Last, he could clear up his relationship with the Venture Value Fund that that one Barnes and Thornburgh (his criminal defense firm) attorney Ben somebody was the registrar for. I think that fund had Bales and Brizzi and someone from Somerset, it's all been deleted from the internet now, the website was venturevaluefund.com I think. That was all around this same timing of Elkhart as I recall. I don't recall reading that the hard working prosecution team referenced to earlier on this board mentioned any of this at trial or tried to get any of that into evidence.
    • Comment
      I do not know John Bales but it would seem to me that he could pony up his tax returns for the last seven years and explain where his income came from and put to rest accusations that he traded in these questionably timed trades Tim Durham was involved in, etc. For example is it true or not true that the only massive position Bales bought a few years ago was Cellstar right before Brightpoint bought them? If not, no big deal. If true how is it that that happened around the same time Brizzi did? How did Bales go running into Paul Page just in time to let Paul have this deal? Further, on a cap rate basis is the Elkhart deal on a triple net lease or not? If so and the rent totals $195K a year-and is a triple net lease that means the state of Indiana pays all repairs, roof leaks, taxes, etc and on a cap rate of 10 would put the value of the building around $2M so not sure how no one thinks this is a bad deal for anyone involved with it. Further if Bales had done a true upfront mortgage is it true it was not filed until right before the raid on Tim Durham? What a surprise in timing. Not sure why he would care if all of this is coincidental and not sure why anyone would make that trek up hwy 31 on the eve of Thanksgiving to file it when it would seem to me he would have filed it when he signed the documents. Not sure why the judge did not allow the emails I readfrom other folks associated with Venture that contained worries about being "outted." What is there to be "outted" if there were not things being kept secret? If there was nothing to hide then why would anyone worry about being outted? I'm just asking because again I do not know John Bales and am basing my questions on what I have been reading on this cast of characters online over the last three years. I would like to know how much income John Bales made from non-state of Indiana real estate deals. I would like to see his entire portfolio of investments and find out where the income came from if not from Indiana-state related items. I'd like to know how the heck he got that sole source deal. And I'd like to know if it's true that he worked with Somerset on his tax returns and that one showed a massive position in Cellstar or not, I don't know because again I have never met John Bales nor seen any documents associated with him. I'd also like to know all work he has done for underprivileged children where he received no benefit prior to his being indicted. And on that note I'd like to see work he has done in general for charity where he received no benefit because I seem to recall he got a sizeable commission on the Elkhart deal. He could shut up everyone on these boards and who have followed the case by simply opening up his life and showing how he got his income. Before that one dude posts that I have no life and no income I can assure you I will make more than all of you in earned income this year. My taxes alone for 2013 will be over $2M, so don't even go there, and yes, I get up every day and work honestly but unlike some around Indianapolis I don't have the benefit of special relationships or exclusive sole source arrangements. And, my finances are open record. So, just asking because it seems to me that if I were John I would be angry if innocent and want to clear my name, and it's very, very easy to open up my books and show how I made my money. Maybe he would get some new customers if he did so, you know, commercial property owners who just want you go to to work and knock on doors and call up potential buyers, REITS and hedge funds, etc that are plowing stupid money into overpriced real estate deals this year. And, maybe some of those sellers who are worried about the pending onslaught of capital gains increases. But, me somehow thinks John is not going to do that. And, he doesn't have to now does he. Just my two cents.
      • What about the I69 Fraud
        Federal prosecutors spend millions going after a mortgage fraud case on a performing loan, in a deal that actually saved Hoosiers money. Meanwhile friends and family of the Daniels administration grift millions from the state on the I69 extension land deals. And so far not a peep from any county, state, or federal authority.
      • REAL-LY? Mickey?
        Some of their cronies here go on the offense against Cory (great reporting; keep in up!), and Mickey Maurer of brains, (earned) money, and total integrity. This local band of Marion County Republicans reminds me of the Cook County Democrats. Don't use Mickey and Cory in the same breath.PPPP-LLLEEASE.
      • Disgusted
        I have talked with those who know Bales personally and say this is a joke. Their accusation is that he is morally corrupt and it's that simple. Congrats to the legal defense - truly an "OJ" victory.
      • Whining
        I love all the adults on here whining about the IBJ exposing the truth about the defendants. David v Goliath? David was sleeping w Goliath while ripping him off.
      • Really?
        O.J. was found not guilty, and he was prosecuted; media reported the events..............
      • More obvious
        Oh really? So this whole thing is a smear job and these guys are upstanding citizens you say? Why don't you explain to me about Bales and Page and their stock positions in Red Rock pictures, a noted boiler room stock, also involving Brizzi and Durham. Also, while you're at it. Please explain to me their stock positions in Cellstar holdings. Another stock that Carl Brizzi and Tim Durham had inside information on. You know, the one with the verizon receivable that just "vanished." But hey it must just be a coincidence right? Sorry pal, no sympathy here. If you choose to lay down with the dogs (Brizzi/Durham) and do business with them, then be prepared to wake up with fleas.
      • Breaking news
        Dingus and Jarod, just to be clear, the story you are accusing IBJ of burying in today's IBJ Daily was emailed to all IBJ Daily subscribers last night as a "Breaking" news story. That means it got special treatment. It also appeared at the top of the IBJ website for 18 hours. It was not underplayed. Thank you for reading.
      • Hey Disgusted
        Pretty ignorant of you "Disgusted" to suggest that the Federal Government (FBI) or the prosecution team did not work hard enough. I guess 6 federal agents and who knowns how many legal experts aren't enough for you to look into one American citizen. The verdict was "Not Guilty" and that means 12 unbiased men and women who are clearly more interested in facts and rule of law than you, got it right. Not sure why you are so upset. Did John not pay enough attention to you at some party. Poor you! I happen to know John personally. You clearly do not. Do you have any idea of the type of philanthropy he does? Sorry, for another rhetorical question you have no clue about. He and his family and business partner were scrutinized by the federal government for over 2 years. I'm sure you would have handled it better. Probably just go with a court appointed attorney vs. spending your own money to defend your good name. Were you aware that the lead FBI agent in charge of the case, who has been working white collar crimes since 2005 (I'll do the math for you, that would be 8 years)has never been to a court trial until now??? Do you now even appreciate why they have a 93% conviction rate? I doubt you do. Thank God there are some people like John Bales and Bill Spencer who can afford to fight the beast our government has become. I know 99.9% of our citizenry would cop to a plea agreement because we can't afford to fight them. That is clearly what Paul Page has done. I'd prefer that someone like you just keep your biased and naive comments to yourself at this point. They are not guilty and it's over. But there will be another episode for someone as petty as you to follow shortly. You won't have to worry about that. John wakes up @ 3:30 AM every day and begins his work schedule. What time to you show up? Do you even have a job? If you're jealous I suggest you try working as hard. Or better yet harder since you're clearly not as bright. Take your jealousy and $8 dollars and go see a fictional movie you think is real. For me, I feel relief that there is hope for others who may also be wrongly prosecuted to play the role of David and fling a mighty stone @ Goliath. I won't explain that one to you "Disgusted" your lesson for today is over, and I'm even more disgusted than you! Good luck with your pathetic and petty life. It could not be anything else, since you are gutless and won't even post your real name which is clearly "Ignorant" not the pseudonym "Disgusted"
      • Agree
        Completely agree Dingus, this will be my last visit to the IBJ website. I don't know anyone in this article, and when you write about a story for 3 years and can't find the not guilty verdict as a breaking headline it shows the IBJ is nothing more than a tabloid. Shame on you Cory.
        • Wow
          Lookie lookie at my IBJ Daily. The 12th article down the page tells us that Bales and Spencer were found NOT GUILTY. Want to bet if the jury found them guilty this would have been the lead story. At what point will IBJ be held accountable for its tabloid journalism. The rag goes out of its way to dig up "dirt" on people and doesn't give a darn whether its truth or fiction. Where is the apology to Bales & Spencer? When will the editor and publisher of this rag grow a pair and show this reporter the door. BTW, Indiana is a right to work state so you can just let him go without needing a reason even though you have a pretty big one.
        • IBJ Who?
          I read the IBJ updates every day. The IBJ was the only source of news and information I received throughout the Bales trial. Based on the IBJ coverage I would have never guessed Bales would be found innocent. Evidently the jurors have never seen an IBJ article. It makes me question the IBJ's bias, not only in this case, but in all the news it reports.
        • Mr. Obvious
          Mr. Obvious has missed the point entirely. The original story broke and was a good story as it related to the clear conflict of interest between a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney. NONE OF IT MATTERS? Come on, do you really believe the end always justifies the means. I am sure Mr. Bales after 2 years of hell and countless dollars in legal fees would slightly disagree. Guilty or not doesn't matter? Isn't that a bit harsh? Get over your obsession with Tim Durham. The case with Bales/Spencer did not have to continue. The government was wrong in pursuing this frivolity. I don't have a problem with the Page trial, and if there was quid pro quo in Page's cases by Brizzi then let them both hang. As it relates to the IBJ and Cory and their reporting that is fine for a National Enquirer wannabe, but it was biased and very irresponsible journalism and I would hope that Mr. Maurer would exercise better judgement as publisher.
        • out matched
          Sounded like the US Attorney was out matched by the skill and experience of Larry Mackey - a top notch long time trial attorney.
        • Perfectly said Scott
          There is no question that Cory and the IBJ put a very negative spin on this from the beginning to support an investigation they "broke". For Bales to go out of his way to provide a solution for a problen in Elkhart and then have our overreaching government go after him and cost him huge legal fees to defend his actions is alarming. Shame on both the IBJ and the Feds!
        • Mr Obvious again
          Hello people? I take it you didn't read what I wrote earlier? This is no witch hunt by the IBJ. The reason why this story broke in the first place was because of CARL BRIZZI and his 50 percent ownership in the building with no money down. Call up Cory at the IBJ and ask him why he reported this in the first place. Two words, CARL BRIZZI. Look back at the statements made when these three clowns were indicted. Mackey openly stated at that time (2 years ago) that the FBI was after Carl and his clients were simply along for the ride. This is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. Everybody is getting worked up about the not guilty verdict, witch hunts, blahblahblah. NONE OF IT MATTERS. The FBI got what they wanted out of the investigation/indictment. They got one of them to cooperate against Tim Durham's boyfriend Carl. That's it, plain and simple. Charges will be brought on him and they will stick. Just wait and watch it unfold, it's almost over. An FBI investigation into Brizzi is not a witch hunt.
        • Comment
          Did a juror say Bales was Innocent or did the jurors simply say the state had not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt? Find it extremely interesting that the prosecution did not put on Paul Page as a witness. Find it extremely interesting that it is now revealed that a building allegedly owned by Bales and housing state officials is closed down, and that this same building is allegedly extremely inferior in quality and conditions to the prior building these folks worked in. And I fInd it extremely interesting that no discovery was done on every property associated with any ownership Bales and or his "interests" are and te associated tenant, if any. But, of course, that would require work on the part of the prosecution who in this case was no match for the much better legal team headed by Larry Mackey. Not convicted does not mean innocent. It means not convicted. If I were Johnny Bales To clear my name I might take a lie detector test and open up my personal brokerage records like those alleged trades on Cellstar right before Brightpoint bought them, I think I remember maybe that was the one big trade around the same time Brizzo did the same but of course John doesn't have to open his financial records or real estate landlord records because no one made him do so in this case so why should he. Hopefully at least Barnes and Thorny got a chuck of all his loving those kids, you know, since he is so concerned for underprivileged kids in northern Indiana. Brizzzi has to be laughing with and Page should withdraw his plea.
          • Justice?
            FSSA Office Building In Kokomo Owned By Bales Closed Due To Unsafe Conditions Does he & other insiders own all the FSSA/DCS/Lottery buildings in violation of his state contract? http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/2013/02/fssa-office-building-in-kokomo-owned-by.html?m=1
          • What DON'T the Feds screw up???
            The truth will out in the end. God and Bales and his cohorts know. Are also going to call the coverage of the Don Marsh trial a witch hunt?
          • Our Court System
            Judging from the remarks, many think something was amiss in this case, however the court viewed the matter differently, and our courts have a responsibility to hold the prosecution accountable for fact gathering, and it appears the facts presented no crime was committed.
          • IBJ WITCH HUNT!!!
            Again, in the end ...when ALL the facts finally come out, those that are fast to judge, end up getting egg on their faces! The irresponsible, extremely biased, inaccurate. WITCH HUNT reporting of Cory Schouten is NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! By simply leaving out the most important facts why the case was indeed frivolous from the beginning, CORY led readers to draw conclusions that were formed from BAD REPORTING! The fact that Cory was in the same courtroom and chose to omit the most important facts from the trial, is further evidence of an ole fashion WITCH HUNT! Instead of reporting the most important fact presented in the case, that the Prosecution alleged that John Bales committed fraud against Huntington Bank (the cornerstone of the entire case) was clearly debunked! 3 employees of the bank each testified that a bank wire WAS received with John Bales name on it and that the downpayment WAS NOT FRAUDULANTLY SUBMITTED! IN FACT, WHEN THE FBI CONTACTED THE BANK TO INFORM THEM OF THIS, THEY ALREADY KNEW, AND HAD CHOSE TO DO NOTHING BECAUSE THEY TESTIFIED THE LOAN WAS "PERFORMING" AND DIDNT FEEL LIKE HE HAD DONE ANYTHING WRONG TO WARRANT ACTION! Doesn't that say it all Cory? How about the Bank employee that testified that a month ago Huntington Bank approved a car loan for John Bales? Would a bank that really thought a customer had committed fraud, lend them money to buy a car? These are only a few examples of very damning testimony that was not reported in The IBJ to give the readers a balanced point of view! That is clearly biased, bush leauge, rookie reporting with a clear agenda...pretty sad that it ultimately lead to a huge waste of tax payers $$! Way to go Cory, I can't wait to see your encore!
            • Guilty
              I'm a Daniels supporter, but he made mistakes. John Bales and Venture was one of them (The gas deal in Rockport is the biggest). The State gave Bales carte Blanche, and they abused it - anyone in th real estate business would second that. Hard to believe he walks away from this. Yet, these things continue . . . Look at any high profile development in Indy that some how doesn't have competitive bidding. Then look at the contributions . . .
            • For the kids
              http://kokomoperspective.com/kp/news/fssa-building-closed-indefinitely/article_d0b819d2-6fd2-11e2-935a-001a4bcf887a.html
            • Irony of it all
              One final question so BAB Equity LLC holds a valid 2nd mortgage against a building the US Taxpayers own 50% of?
            • Forgettaboutit!!!
              So who owns the building 50% Carl Brizzi and 50% the Federal Government (Page's surrendered interest). I thought Page was to cooperate with the Feds? How can you make development fees, commissions (not pay the state their cut until you are made aware of a Federal Invesitigation) and broker fees and not be in direct violation/breach of your State Contract? Will the state send them an invoice for profits they were not supposed to make?
            • Want to buy a bridge?
              Sure, they did it all for the kids. And I have a bridge to sell you. They were in business to make money, not do anything for any child in Indiana. PS: I think some of these comments are from the few Bales supporter or family members.
            • hmmmm
              Well their innocent since the court cleared them, but they set this up to clearly make money by abusing the positions they were in which the law clearly restricted them from doing.
            • what the heck
              After reading your article from the 9th paragraph on you would think the verdict was guilty. Maybe you guys should be responsible journalists and say "We were wrong to trash these 2 men in our tabloid. We truly regret what we did to them and their families.". Oh right that would take a conscience which.obviously you do not have.
            • Brilliant
              All the defamation law suits are going to make him more money than the building ever could of! A lot of attorneys are going to be busy next week! Congrats JB.
            • What a waste of taxpayer $$
              Even if you believe everything in the Federal government's story, at best it is a breach of contract by Bales. For the omnipotent federal government to so callously bring criminal charges against the Defendants, including Page, based on these facts is appalling. It appears Judge Miller was also skeptical of the fed's case.
            • Mr Obvious
              I stated this earlier but I guess you all must have missed it. If you are wondering why Bales and Spencer were found innocent, read below The FBI is just sitting back laughing watching this trial, if they are in fact even following it. They don't care about this group of clowns at all. Innocent or guilty, it doesn't matter. They got what they longed for, which was for one of these guys (Page) to start giving up the final goods on Tim Durham's Boyfriend Carl Brizzi. The trial is a dead issue. Blablahblah. You're fraud was exposed fellas, and you have Crook Brizzi and Durham to thank for the heat.
            • Nuts!
              Wow can Bales really get away with now saying he did it for the kids--it was all about the money all along! No wonder tears were shed - in shock at the verdict I'm sure. Surely the feds will bring this back to trial and correct their mistakes.
              • Correct Result
                The government didn't and couldn't prove their case here. What a waste of resources.
              • NICE
                Great to hear a hard working guy like Balesy can move forward with his life!!! Doesnt the Fed Govt have more important things to worry about than a trivial matter like this with no victims?
              • Hero Vindicated
                John Bales' only crime was working for DCS to find them cheaper rent and take care of those children. like they say "No good deed goes unpunished". Thank God the good guys won this one.
              • GossipGirl
                Thank God for an end to this self serving journalism. Cory you seemed so proud of yourself for breaking this story, and now it seems you were wrong all along. A jury of your peers disagreed with you. You have to respect that and admit you were wrong.
              • Wow
                The Feds sure screwed this one up. Amateur hour.
                • Really?
                  Not guilty ? Really? Swing and a miss .......
                • Eating crow
                  So I guess the IBJ was barking up the wrong tree. Please let us know how much the government spent pursuing innocent men?

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                  1. I think the poster was being sarcastic and only posting or making fun of what is usually posted on here about anything being built in BR or d'town for that matter.

                  2. Great news IRL fans: TURBO the IMS sanctioned movie about slugs running the Indy 500 has caught the Securities and Exchange Commission because Dreamworks had to take a $132MILLION write down...because the movie was such a flop. See, the Indy/IMS magic soiled another pair of drawers. Bwahahahahahaha! How's CARTOWN doing? HAHAHAHA...Indy is for losers.

                  3. So disappointed in WIBC. This is the last straw to lose a good local morning program. I used to be able to rely on WIBC to give me good local information, news, weather and traffic on my 45 minute commute.Two incidents when I needed local, accurate information regarding severe weather were the first signs I could not now rely on WIBC. I work weekend 12 hour nights for a downtown hospital. This past winter when we had the worst snowfall in my 50 years of life, I came home on a Sunday morning, went to sleep (because I was to go back in Sunday night for another 12 hour shift), and woke up around 1 p.m. to a house with no electricity. I keep an old battery powered radio around and turned on WIBC to see what was going on with the winter storm and the roads and the power outage. Sigh. Only policital stuff. Not even a break in to update on the winter storm warning. The second weather incident occurred when I was driving home during a severe thunderstorm a few months ago. I had already gotten a call from my husband that a tornado warning was just southwest of where I had been. I turned to WIBC to find out what direction the storm was headed so I could figure out a route home, only to find Rush on the air, and again, no breaking away from this stupidity to give me information. Thank God for my phone, which gave me the warning that I was driving in an area where a tornado was seen. Thanks for nothing WIBC. Good luck to you, Steve! We need more of you and not the politics of hatred that WIBC wants to shove at us. Good thing I have Satellite radio.

                  4. I read the retail roundup article and tried Burritos and Beers tonight. I'm glad I did, for the food was great. Fresh authentic Mexican food. Great seasoning on the carne asada. A must try!!! Thanks for sharing.

                  5. John, unfortunately CTRWD wants to put the tank(s) right next to a nature preserve and at the southern entrance to Carmel off of Keystone. Not exactly the kind of message you want to send to residents and visitors (come see our tanks as you enter our city and we build stuff in nature preserves...

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