An attorney whose mortgage fraud conviction was touted as the biggest case of mortgage fraud in Nevada history has had his conviction overturned because of government misconduct.
Now David Mark has filed court papers seeking roughly $215,000 in attorney fees and expenses, alleging the record in his case “shrieks of prosecutorial misconduct and fabrication, if not perjury.”
"Mark, a New Orleans lawyer who was living in Las Vegas when the massive scheme unfolded, was found guilty in 2013 of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud; two counts of bank fraud and one count mail fraud," initial reports said. "Mark had provided the FBI in November 2007 with information that led to the indictment of a prominent mortgage industry couple in a fraud scheme that prosecutors alleged cost banks more than $52 million.
"Prosecutors promised Mark immunity if he continued to cooperate against mortgage broker Steven Grimm and his ex-wife, real estate broker Eve Mazzarella," local media reported.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal has the story.
Mark contended at his trial and in his appeal that he was indicted after federal prosecutors falsely accused him of violating an immunity agreement to testify against the key players in the mortgage fraud scheme. He was alleged to have "feigned memory loss" shortly before the trial.
In July a federal appeals panel tossed out the conviction after concluding that Pro relied on a "scant record" and "inaccurate" information from prosecutors about the immunity breach when he denied a defense motion to dismiss the case against Mark.
"When the government promises not to prosecute a witness in exchange for his cooperation, it cannot then indict the witness unless it proves that he failed to cooperate," the panel wrote.
After the case was dismissed, Mark's New Orleans lawyer, Michael Fawer, said Mark was "needlessly" put through the emotional trauma of a trial because of misconduct by prosecutors in the Nevada U.S. attorney's office.
In court papers last week, Fawer alleged that Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian Pugh and Sarah Griswold falsely told Pro that the immunity breach occurred during a July 2011 telephone conversation with Mark.
Mark contended he never had the conversation and documents later obtained from the U.S. attorney's office by the defense showed no record of the call.