McCarter lawyers recently achieved a significant victory at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals when the court unanimously reversed a criminal jury verdict from the District of Delaware against our client, Robert V.A. Harra, Jr., the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Wilmington Trust, and his co-defendants, in the only criminal prosecution of bank executives involving funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) following the 2008 financial crisis.
In a precedential decision, the Third Circuit unanimously agreed that the government failed to meet its burden of proof and remanded 16 counts for the entry of judgments of acquittal, and two counts for a new trial. The ruling completely vindicates our client, who, along with his co-defendants had been convicted in 2018 of fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements and was sentenced to six years in prison.
The court found that the reporting requirements at issue were ambiguous and that the government failed to prove that statements made by Mr. Harra and his co-defendants relating to Wilmington Trust’s decades-old practice of reporting past due loans—which was conducted openly and in plain view of the Trust’s employees, regulators, and auditors—were false under the ambiguous reporting requirements.
Mike Kelly told Delaware Online: “this case was an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars that literally ruined the lives of four innocent people, Rob and his family have endured nothing less than a nightmare for almost 10 years now.”
Related media coverage includes the articles below:
Law360 (Subscription Required)
Bloomberg Law (Subscription Required)