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Published: 11/28/2013

Iraqi currency case tossed

Judge cites technicality; reindictment planned

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Federal indictments charging three Toledo businessmen with duping investors out of millions of dollars in the sale of Iraqi currency and hedge fund shares were dismissed Wednesday on a technicality.

U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary dismissed the indictments against Bradford L. Huebner, 66, of Ottawa Hills; Charles Emmenecker, 66, of Sylvania, and Michael Teadt, 67, of Maumee citing speedy trial concerns raised by defense attorneys for the trio. Their case had been scheduled to go to trial Monday.

Mike Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said the development has delayed the trial again.

“We fully intend to seek to re-indict this case at the earliest possible time,” Mr. Tobin said. “It was surprising to see defendants who were repeatedly asking for delays in their trial date complaining that their trial was not speedy enough.”

Attorney Rick Kerger, who represents Mr. Huebner, said the defense team was prepared to go to trial next week, but wanted to raise the speedy trial violation before trial rather than after.

“When we became aware that there existed a basis to obtain a dismissal of the indictment, we were really duty-bound to raise it,” Mr. Kerger said.

While it was the defense that asked for several continuances in their clients’ cases, Mr. Kerger said the court did not use the required language in granting the continuances, which resulted in the dismissal.

“Nobody’s implying any bad faith on the part of the government, the court, or anybody, and it is a technicality, but it is a technicality that is sufficiently important that led to the dismissal of the indictment,” Mr. Kerger said.

Judge Zouhary granted the dismissal “regretfully.”

“As should be obvious, this court is most reluctant to grant this motion, which only serves to delay, not speed, the trial of this case,” he wrote in a 10-page opinion. “Defendants, on the eve of trial, filed a motion to dismiss knowing a dismissal will likely result in another indictment which will restart the clock.

“For what purpose? To delay the inevitable trial? How does this make sense?” he asked.

Mr. Heubner, the owner of BH Group, 17 N. St. Clair St., and two of his employees — Mr. Teadt and Mr. Emmenecker — had been charged with conspiring to defraud investors in the sale of Iraqi currency, called dinar, and in the sale of hedge fund shares between August, 2010, and September, 2012, resulting in losses of more than $23 million.

A fourth co-defendant, Rudolph M. Coenen, 47, of Jacksonville pleaded guilty last April to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and five counts of money laundering. The owner of Bayshore Capital Investments LLC in Jacksonville, Coenen has not been sentenced.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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