NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Deutsche Bank AG (DBKGn.DE) broker convicted in what prosecutors called the largest criminal tax fraud in history won a new trial on Monday after a U.S. appeals court concluded that a woman who lied to get on the jury had irreparably tainted the verdict.
David Parse was accused of aiding a multibillion-dollar tax shelter scheme that cost the government $1.63 billion in lost revenue.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Monday threw out Parse’s 2011 conviction. The decision reversed a ruling from the trial judge, William Pauley, who found Parse’s lawyers knew that the juror, Catherine Conrad, had faked her identity but chose as a matter of strategy not to pursue the issue.
Pauley’s conclusion was “not supported by the record,” Circuit Judge Amalya Kearse wrote for the majority of a three-judge panel.
The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment.
A jury in 2011 found Parse guilty of two of six counts. Paul Daugerdas, a former partner at the defunct law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist; Denis Field, accounting firm BDO Seidman’s former chief executive; and Jenkens partner Donna Guerin were all convicted as well.
Another Deutsche broker, Raymond Brubaker, was acquitted.
A day after the trial, Conrad wrote a letter to prosecutors praising them and lamenting that Parse had not been convicted of all charges.
Conrad, who claimed to be a stay-at-home wife, was actually a suspended lawyer. At a post-trial hearing, she admitted to constructing a false persona during juror questioning in an effort to get on the jury and called the defendants “crooks.”
Pauley ordered a new trial for Daugerdas, Field and Guerin but denied Parse’s bid, finding that his lawyers had known or suspected that Conrad lied. Parse was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.
Guerin pleaded guilty ahead of her retrial and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Field was acquitted at the second trial, while Daugerdas was convicted again and sentenced to 15 years.
Susan Brune, who represented Parse at trial, did not respond to a request for comment. In an email, Parse’s appellate attorney, Alexandra Shapiro, said, “Mr. Parse is innocent, and he looks forward to being vindicated at a retrial before an impartial jury if the government retries the case.”
Jenkens dissolved in 2007 after agreeing to a $76 million tax penalty as part of the probe.
Deutsche Bank and BDO agreed to pay $553.6 million and $50 million, respectively, to resolve related claims.
The case is U.S. v. Parse, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 13-1388.
Editing by Matthew Lewis