Articles Posted in White Collar Crime

by
Stephan Podrygula and Psychological Services, P.C. (collectively "Podrygula") appealed a district court order dismissing their complaint against Angela and William Bray for fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Angela Bray was employed by Podrygula from October 2000 to September 2006. In the complaint, Podrygula alleged Angela Bray fraudulently diverted money from the business, and William Bray was aware of this and assisted in defrauding and concealing those activities. Stephan Podrygula reported his suspicions of Angela Bray's theft to law enforcement. Formal charges were brought against her in August 2007, she was convicted of theft, and was sentenced to prison. In addition, she was ordered to pay $63,197 in restitution which has since been paid in full. The Brays filed a motion to dismiss under N.D.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), arguing Podrygula failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted because the suit was untimely, and the complaint's fraud allegations were not pleaded with particularity. Podrygula alleged that since Angela Bray's sentencing in September 2008, it was discovered she had been stealing from as far back as 2003, rather than from 2005. In addition, Podrygula alleged: (1) in early December 2007, information was received from Stephan Podrygula's bank about thefts that had not been included in the forensic accounting report used at the criminal trial; in 2008 Angela Bray had been impersonating Stephan Podrygula to his bank and other businesses; and (3) information was received in January 2008 indicating William Bray had been double and triple reimbursed for handyman work he had performed for them. After a hearing on the motion, the district court determined October 4, 2006 was the discovery date for purposes of the statute of limitations, and the statute of limitations ran six years later. After determining the statute of limitations had run, the district court granted the Brays' motion to dismiss and filed an order of dismissal without prejudice. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded there was no genuine issue of material fact, and the district court did not err in determining the statute of limitations had run. View "Podrygula v. Bray" on Justia Law

Posted in: White Collar Crime

by
Defendant Charles Blunt appealed a district court order that denied his motion for a new trial. He argued the court erred in denying his motion for a new trial because the State violated procedural discovery rules. Defendant was the Executive Director of Workforce Safety and Insurance ("WSI") from 2004 to 2007. The State Auditor's Office conducted a performance review of WSI in 2006, and the Auditor's report questioned the use of public funds at WSI. As a result of the Auditor's report, Defendant was charged with two counts of misapplication of entrusted property in violation of state law. State rules of procedure hold that if the State fails to disclose certain discoverable information to a criminal defendant, the trial court has discretion in applying a remedy when a violation of the rule has been shown. Without a showing of an abuse of the court's discretion, the issue is not appealable. Although the Supreme Court concluded the State likely violated the discovery rules, a careful review of the entire record reflected that the information contained in the undisclosed documents was contained in other documents provided to Defendant. Furthermore, the Court concluded that Defendant did not establish he was prejudiced by the violations. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the trial court's denial of Defendant's motion for a new trial.