Posted Friday, February 5, 2010 12:16 PM | Contributed by Jeff
Defense attorney Steve Joseph had spent nearly 10 1/2 hours over the last two days questioning his client, Wild West World founder Thomas Etheredge. He insisted that he did not mislead anyone, and that he never even intended to have private investors.
Read more and see video from The Wichita Eagle.
Watching these stories carefully, I have to say that I don't believe he intentionally tried to screw anyone, and I still think there's more responsibility to rest with the people who lost money.
That said, the whole case comes down to whether or not it mattered that he had prior convictions and whether he should have disclosed that. It reminds me of an episode of Law & Order that Diana had on in the background last weekend. Is it a crime to have sex with someone without disclosing if you have have HIV? Maybe it's not to that extent, but it sounds like the jury has to decide if non-disclosure constitutes fraud. Is it his responsibility to disclose it, or the lender's responsibility to ask?
I'm going to have to play catch-up here, but how much due diligence was done before cash was handed over? I'm guessing not much.
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