In January 1995, Dana Scheer and Kenneth Treadwell
were convicted of engaging in conspiracy and fraud when they were attorneys for Sunrise Savings and Loan Association in Boynton Beach, Florida.
The savings and loan had failed in 1985 and cost taxpayers more than $680 million.
Scheer and Treadwell handled real estate transactions for the savings and loan association. They were convicted based on the testimony of Robert Jacoby, president of the savings and loan, who said that Scheer and Treadwell were aware of the fraudulent nature of the real estate deals that Jacoby worked on. The prosecution claimed the deals were sham transactions conducted so that auditors would not notice that the financial institution was suffering millions of dollars in losses.
Prior to sentencing, U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler vacated Treadwell's convictions and dismissed Scheer's conspiracy convictions. The judge held a hearing on a defense motion for a new trial and found that the prosecution had threatened the savings and loan president with jail time if he failed to testify against Scheer, and never disclosed that threat to the defense. Hoeveler did not overturn Scheer's convictions for misapplication of funds and filing a false statement.
Scheer was sentenced to four years probation and a $10,000 fine.
Scheer appealed his convictions and in February 1999, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed his convictions and ordered a new trial because the prosecutor failed to disclose the threat.
In August 1999, the prosecution dismissed the remaining charges against Scheer.
– Maurice Possley