We barely found out that the Motion to Dismiss due to the destruction of documents was denied when we learned that my former Fund III colleague and one of the Government’s cooperating witnesses that testified to the Grand Jury was charged with perjury. It was Scott and he immediately pled guilty. Scott was the only one on the committee that got an immunity deal.
My understanding was that all he had to do was tell the truth and cooperate and he would not be charged with anything. I was always puzzled by the need to say both cooperate and tell the truth because they seemed somewhat obvious. If you were cooperating wouldn’t that mean that you were telling the truth and if you were telling the truth wouldn’t that mean you were cooperating? What was the requirement for clarity?
Scott had told the Government that he had left Fund III early, before anyone else on the Fund III committee. I believe the implication and leverage were that Scott chose to distance himself from Fund III because things were starting to become difficult and he didn’t want to become responsible for much of anything. My first thought when Scott resigned from Fund III was that he was a salesman and his customers were already investors based on his relationship regardless of what he did afterward. Scott would be accountable for his involvement to that point including drafting the term sheet, sales to clients, and more.
Hearing that Scott lied to the Grand Jury made me sick to my stomach. It wasn’t like you could go back into the Grand Jury and correct it. There was no fixing something like this. The Grand Jury convened to make decisions on whether to charge someone with a crime based on the prosecutor’s presentation and witnesses’ testimony.
From a layman’s perspective, if the lies were significant enough, the Government should dismiss the charges and I couldn’t be charged with the same charges again OR… the Government could take the position that the lies that Scott said to the Grand Jury were not significant enough and continue with the charges as originally charged. Significance was in the eye of the beholder and the cards did not seem to be falling in my direction much.
I was afraid I already knew the Government’s position.
How do you separate what was truthful Grand Jury testimony and what were lies and somehow weigh them after the Grand Jury had made their decision to indict me? The answer is ….you can’t separate it and there is no do-over.
My attorney, Dan, and I filed the Motion to Dismiss the charges due to perjured testimony at the Grand Jury. Scott lied about his knowledge of when he knew what was going on and what his involvement was. That is what Scott admitted to but I later read through his Grand Jury testimony and felt there was additional questionable testimony. Suffice it to say, I had a reasonably clear picture of Scott’s agenda by reading through his testimony.
I didn’t understand why the Government didn’t charge Scott as soon as he testified and make the Grand Jury aware of his false testimony. Maybe there was some strategy for this and I was unaware of how this works. Maybe getting the indictment came before charging Scott. I was still a bit naive and optimistic.
Why would the Government want a perjured cooperating witness on their team? Scott had just proven to the Government that he couldn’t be trusted. When and how would a juror be able to distinguish when Scott was being truthful? Or do you call out Scott on the witness stand for his lies and make him confess why he lied so that you play on the emotions of the jury that Scott was scared and said what was convenient…
The truth felt like a hot potato that was being tossed around a group that couldn’t hold on to it.
There were hints of stubborn optimism that crept into my day on occasion. It felt like I had it easy because I didn’t have to keep my story straight. It was already straight. I didn’t have to remember who I told what to. If I repeated myself it was consistent with what I had said previously.
Repeating the same allegations over and over and over at least 7 times until circumstances morphed into a quasi-truth was not my style. It was some of what I witnessed often in the case. Mostly, I told the truth with evidence and collaboration. I didn’t have to raise my voice. I learned the truth was quiet and powerful.
I could feel that I was letting go of parts of my life that had given me comfort for years. My life had always been fairly comfortable more because I knew what to expect, not necessarily because it was right….that is what I was learning. Being uncomfortable wasn’t that bad. I was somewhat getting used to it happening every day….. as a defendant. I was constantly surprised, disgusted, and challenged by our criminal justice system. Strangely, being uncomfortable for a while and realizing what was truly important a little at a time was what had to be done to pull me into a new life. A life that was more meaningful and stubbornly optimistic was on the horizon.
This was a time in the case when it felt like a scorecard was necessary. Motions were being filed left and right. Hearings were scheduled. There was constant preparation and tons of material to review. To say that things were moving fast was a significant understatement. I couldn’t tell anyone what was happening because it took too much time to connect the dots from where we left off. The Government kept the pressure on so that I knew they were moving full steam ahead.
I just had to hope that my community trusted me and that they knew that we would catch up again later. I never had time to even ask them what was happening in their lives. I didn’t feel like a good friend. I felt selfish.
As I have said, there were some good-natured people that wanted to help but couldn’t carry any of the weight of the case and the emotional energy to keep them informed was too expensive for me. I would reach out to them from time to time but only when I could afford it and not when they asked for it. I felt like I let them down but I hoped they understood. I was learning who could handle what was happening and who I had to protect from knowing what was truly going on….somehow.
When was the last time you made a truly courageous decision?