THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH Enlarge
A federal magistrate today denied Tom Noe’s request for a new trial saying he had not proven he was denied a fair trial in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
In a 23-page opinion, Magistrate Kathleen B. Burke dismissed Noe’s claims that the trial court improperly denied his motion to change venue and that it improperly allowed the state’s experts and denied the defendant’s experts. Noe was convicted in 2006 of the theft of millions of dollars from rare-coin funds he managed for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
“Noe’s claims of prejudice are conclusory and do not demonstrate that the state courts’ evidentiary rulings were so prejudicial that he was denied due process and a fair trial,” the opinion stated.
A Lucas County Common Pleas Court jury found Noe guilty in 2006 of 29 charges of corruption, theft, money laundering, and of tampering with records for the theft of millions of dollars from two $25 million rare-coin funds. He was found not guilty on 11 other charges, and several others were dismissed or consolidated.
Noe was sentenced to 18 years in state prison and ordered to pay $13,747,000 in restitution, the cost of prosecution totaling $2,979,402, and $139,000 in fines.
His conviction was upheld by the 6th District Court of Appeals in December, 2009, and in June, 2010, the Supreme Court of Ohio refused to grant his appeal a hearing.
Kevin Pituch, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, was thrilled to hear the magistrate had denied Noe’s petition for a new trial, though he said it did not surprise him.
“I was expecting this,” he said. “Twelve jurors heard this case and found that there was overwhelming evidence of guilt that Tom Noe was not only a thief, but a swindler.”
He said both sides will have an opportunity to respond to Magistrate Burke’s decision before U.S. District Court Judge John R. Adams formally rules on the matter.
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