Articles Posted in White Collar Crime

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Defendants were in the business of processing and selling industrial wood products and maintained a large inventory at numerous distribution centers throughout the United States. In 2002, defendants and plaintiffs entered into an asset purchase agreement (PA), which provided for the merger of the two companies, changes in personnel, and until plaintiffs' purchase of an inventory unit, plaintiffs, for a fee, would provide defendants with "all management and administrative services associated with purchasing, processing, and maintaining [defendants'] inventory." In 2003, plaintiffs' books were audited by a certified public accountant, Schmidt. Schmidt found unusual entries in the books and many entries that did not appear to be related to normal inventory activity. After Schmidt completed his work on defendants' books, the bookkeeper who was employed by plaintiffs but was providing inventory-related services to defendants, was discovered to have embezzled at least $360,000 from defendants' accounts. Three legal actions (including this case) ensued. The issue on review in this case was whether the trial court erred in denying defendants' motion for a new trial under ORCP 64 (B)(4),2 based on the asserted ground of newly discovered evidence. The trial court determined that defendants' proffered evidence did not satisfy the legal standard for granting a new trial under that rule. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that defendants' post-trial proffer qualified as newly discovered evidence, that the evidence was material for defendants, and that defendants exercised reasonable diligence in attempting to produce the evidence at trial. Because the Supreme Court concluded that, irrespective of whether the proffered evidence was newly discovered and material for defendants, defendants failed to exercise reasonable diligence to produce the evidence at trial. Ultimately, the Court concluded the trial court did not err in denying defendants' motion for a new trial. View "Greenwood Products v. Greenwood Forest Products" on Justia Law