Eric Eckes, Associate at Pinales Stachler, has successfully secured a dismissal on behalf of his client in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The dismissal came after Eric successfully defended his client in a very rare and complex 5-day trial involving two simultaneous juries.
The case involved an alleged multi-state check cashing scheme. Bank fraud conspiracy charges were filed against multiple defendants. Eric represented the girlfriend of the alleged leader of the bank fraud conspiracy. All defendants were convicted by plea or trial with the sole exception being Eric’s client.
Eric was able to show the jury that his client was a young woman who found herself entangled in a controlling relationship that ultimately led her to make some bad decisions, but not criminal decisions. After hours of deliberations, the jury could not reach a verdict, but it was reported afterwards that most jurors did not believe Eric’s client had any criminal intent, and therefore, 10 of 12 voted not guilty.
Addressing the jury, Eric argued, “Here’s the thing: Bad guys. Controlling guys. Intimidating guys. Manipulative predators. They have others do things for them. They exert control, exert pressure, exploit vulnerabilities, exploit the things you do for them. Make you feel like you are trapped. The question becomes what is the intent of those that the bad guy controls, that the bad guy uses for his purposes?”
Eric continued, “Look closer, look deeper into your life experience and what you know about people in unhealthy relationships. Inexplicable emotions, attachments we don’t let go of when we know we should. This is real life where in the midst of the inexplicable emotions, people have fears—fears that lead them to bad decisions, fears that lead them to not be strong enough, to feel like they can’t just say no when a favor is asked.”
On March 15, 2017, a Motion to Dismiss was granted after the United States, “in the interests of justice,” determined it would not re-try Eric’s client.
Everyone at Pinales Stachler could not be more proud of this outstanding result!