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Lawyers Press Bid to Suppress King Evidence - Dec 19, 1990 - Omaha World-Herald

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Dec 19, 1990 Lawyers Press Bid to Suppress King Evidence; [Sunrise Edition]
Omaha World - Herald. Omaha, Neb. pg. 17

Full Text (424 words)
(Copyright 1990 Omaha World-Herald Company)

Tape recordings and memos from a 1988 closed-door meeting at which National Credit Union Administration officials discussed seizing the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union have been submitted to a federal magistrate by defense attorneys for Lawrence E. King Jr.

King's attorneys offered the documents as part of their effort to block some evidence from being used against their client in his coming trial on 40 criminal charges arising from the failure of Franklin. King was Franklin's manager-treasurer when it was closed by federal regulators Nov. 4, 1988.

Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Richard Kopf acknowledged receiving the materials from King's lawyers and ordered them sealed.

Although the file was sealed, hiding the nature of the documents, defense attorneys Steven Achelpohl and Marilyn Abbott specified in a request filed Dec. 5 what they were asking Kopf to examine.

They listed a tape recording of NCUA's closed board meeting of Nov. 1, 1988, five pages of a written summary of the meeting and four pages of handwritten notes made by J. Leonard Skiles, then the NCUA's regional director. They also asked for an Oct. 31, 1988, memo that one associate regional director wrote to another associate regional director.

Achelpohl and Ms. Abbott said then that they wanted to use the documents to support their effort to keep Franklin records seized by the government from being admitted as evidence.

All the materials Kopf received relate to the NCUA's decision to seize Franklin and place it into conservatorship, the defense attorneys said in their request. They did not explain how they planned to use the material to suppress evidence.

However, they argued in hearings earlier this year that the NCUA, a federal agency that regulates and insures federally chartered credit unions, was acting as an arm of federal criminal investigation agencies.

FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents raided Franklin's headquarters at 33rd and Franklin Streets and the offices of two affiliated agencies on the same day that the NCUA took control of Franklin.

They seized a large number of records that are now considered evidence in the criminal case against King. The records are locked in a room at the Zorinsky Federal Building.

King was indicted in May 1989 on 40 counts of conspiracy, fraud and federal income tax violations. His wife, Alice Ploche King, was named in 12 counts of conspiracy and fraud. A second version of the indictment was filed last May, raising the amount of money that King is accused of taking from Franklin.

The charges arise from the disappearance of $39 million from the Franklin treasury.

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