Courts

Court stays out of Planned Parenthood funding case

May 28, 2013
Associated Press
The Supreme Court will not disturb a lower court ruling that blocks Indiana's effort to strip Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood because the organization performs abortions.
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Feds used wire tap, undercover agent in Land Bank probe

May 21, 2013
Cory Schouten
A federal public-corruption task force used a wire tap and an undercover FBI agent to unravel a fraud scheme authorities say was orchestrated by two city employees and three co-conspirators.
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Court upholds Indiana's limit on civil damages

May 16, 2013
Associated Press
The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld the state law limiting punitive damages awarded in civil lawsuits and directs most of that money to a state victims fund.
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Leader of fraud scheme sentenced to 4-plus years

May 14, 2013
 IBJ Staff
Michael Russell, 54, pleaded guilty in January to 20 counts of wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme involving former Indianapolis City-County Councilor Paul Bateman.
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High court rules against Indiana farmer in patent case

May 13, 2013
Associated Press
The Supreme Court has sustained Monsanto Co.'s claim that an Indiana farmer violated the company's patents on soybean seeds that are resistant to its weed-killer.
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Judge grants class status to lawsuit against BMV

May 6, 2013
Associated Press
As many as 4 million Indiana drivers could become plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has overcharged for driver's licenses since 2007.
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Assets of attorney in fraud case have gone missing, feds say

May 3, 2013
Dave Stafford
After being charged with defrauding clients, Indianapolis attorney William Conour was ordered not to dispose of his personal property. But much of it is now missing, including art, furniture, sports memorabilia and bottles of expensive champagne, according to court filings.
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Overhaul of sentencing laws heading to governor

April 26, 2013
Associated Press
The Senate voted 34-15 on Friday in favor of the bill aimed at sending fewer nonviolent offenders to prison.
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Sheridan businessman gets 8-year term for fraud

March 28, 2013
Associated Press
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett issued the 97-month prison term to Lowell Hancher of Hamilton County. The Sheridan businessman pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud.
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White blames Brizzi for his voter fraud conviction

March 21, 2013
Associated Press
Former Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White said in court documents Thursday that his attorney didn't mount any defense to protect him from the conviction that forced him from office.
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Marsh Supermarkets asking former CEO to pay $5.6M

February 15, 2013
Scott Olson, Cory Schouten
A company lawyer itemized the expenses Marsh Supermarkets believes it is owed during closing arguments Friday. A lawyer for Don Marsh argued that he neither committed fraud nor breached his contract.
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Jury to begin deliberating in Don Marsh trial

February 15, 2013
Scott Olson
The panel of nine will begin closed-door discussions Friday afternoon following closing arguments from attorneys representing Marsh Supermarkets Inc. and the former CEO of the company accused of spending $3.3 million of company funds on personal expenses.
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Witnesses: Don Marsh’s expenses never questioned

February 14, 2013
Scott Olson

Lawyers for the former CEO of Marsh Supermarkets on Thursday hammered home their claims his expenses were widely accepted in the company as normal business costs, while witness testimony revealed a corporate culture that passed the buck on evaluating those costs.

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Don Marsh says he owes more than $500,000 in back taxes

February 7, 2013
Scott Olson
The disclosure came during the fourth day of Don Marsh's civil trial. The locally based supermarket chain is alleging he used company funds to pay more than $3 million in personal expenses.
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Bales trial in jury's hands after colorful closings

February 7, 2013
Cory Schouten
During three hours of closing arguments Wednesday in the federal fraud trial of real estate broker John M. Bales and William E. Spencer, a federal prosecutor and two top-tier Indianapolis defense attorneys delivered a series of memorable one-liners and rhetorical flourishes designed to stick with jurors.
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Defense rests in Bales trial after flurry of witnesses

February 6, 2013
Cory Schouten
Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday afternoon in the federal fraud trial of Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer after the defense raced through seven witnesses Tuesday and early Wednesday.
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UPDATE: Jet trips during affairs were also for business, Marsh testifies

February 5, 2013
Scott Olson
In a day on the witness stand, former Marsh Supermarkets Inc. CEO Don Marsh told jurors during his fraud trial Tuesday that he's not proud of his extramarital affairs, but he insisted the private jet trips he took to visit his mistresses were business-related.
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FBI agent references Brizzi in Bales trial testimony

February 5, 2013
Cory Schouten
Federal prosecutors rested their fraud case against John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer on Monday after a full day of testimony from FBI Special Agent Brian Percival that included several references to former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi.
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Marsh to call former CEO as first witness

February 4, 2013
Scott Olson
The lead lawyer for Marsh Supermarkets Inc. expects to call Don Marsh as its first witness when the civil trial against him reconvenes Tuesday. The grocery chain alleges that the former CEO used company funds to pay more than $3 million in personal expenses.
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Defense attorneys turn tough in Bales trial

February 1, 2013
Cory Schouten
The legal team representing real estate broker John M. Bales and partner William E. Spencer haven't called their first witness and already they're putting up a spirited fight as federal prosecutors seek to prove 13 charges including bank, mail and wire fraud.
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Former Venture employee turns on Bales during testimony

January 31, 2013
Cory Schouten
An FBI investigation into Venture Real Estate Services and principals John Bales and Bill Spencer had already begun when Matthew Dyer signed on as the company's controller in December 2009. Bales told him the company had done nothing illegal, Dyer testified Wednesday.
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Defense attorneys in Bales case trash former co-defendant

January 30, 2013
Cory Schouten
Attorney and developer Paul J. Page is no longer a co-defendant in the fraud trial of real estate broker John M. Bales and partner Bill Spencer. But you wouldn't know it from the action Tuesday in U.S. District Court. Only now, rather than federal prosecutors, it's defense attorneys for Bales and Spencer who are targeting Page.
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Bales defense: Elkhart deal was a 'scheme to help'

January 29, 2013
Cory Schouten
Facing a looming deadline to find suitable office space for the state Department of Child Services, Indianapolis real estate broker John M. Bales and partner Bill Spencer in 2008 dipped into their own pockets to help close a difficult lease deal, their defense attorneys contend.
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Bales' trial could turn on definition of ownershipRestricted Content

January 26, 2013
Cory Schouten
The jury trial in South Bend for real estate developer John Bales and his general counsel, William E. Spencer, is scheduled to begin Jan. 28 and last up to two weeks. Bales and Spencer, both 45, are facing 13 counts, including wire and mail fraud.
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Vectren digs in to fight gas plantRestricted Content

January 12, 2013
Chris O'Malley
A synthetic natural gas plant proposed downstate need only tweak its contract with would-be gas purchaser Indiana Finance Authority to comply with an October court ruling and to proceed with the project, Indiana Gasification said in a recent filing with the Indiana Court of Appeals. But opponents of the plant, led by Evansville-based gas and electric utility Vectren, immediately objected.
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