“The judge dismissed all of the 204 felony and 102 misdemeanor charges against Trafford and Sheppard. The charges consisted of notarization of a signature of a person not in the presence of a notary public, which is a gross misdemeanor, and two different felonies: offering false instruments for filing or recording, and false certification of an instrument.”
Judge tosses mortgage ‘robosigning’ case in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge has gutted a marquee criminal complaint filed in 2011 against two mortgage lending company employees, ruling that state prosecutors improperly presented information to a grand jury to obtain an indictment in what they called a massive mortgage fraud “robosigning” scheme.
A lawyer for defendant Gary Randall Trafford on Tuesday hailed Clark County District Judge Carolyn Ellsworth’s ruling as “extraordinary” and accused Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and her deputies of prosecutorial misconduct.
The prosecutor heading the case was facing a foreclosure himself at the time, and a key witness in the case committed suicide in 2011, said John Heuston, attorney for Trafford.
“This case was announced as a groundbreaking robosigning case,” Heuston said. “The judge found there was no robosigning whatsoever.”
“It was prosecutorial misconduct,” Heuston alleged, “and the judge found it was so pervasive that she was not sure that the grand jury would otherwise have indicted” Trafford or co-defendant Geraldine Ann Sheppard.
Attorney Ken Julian, representing Sheppard, said he was “grateful for the court’s ruling.”