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Published: Friday, 11/3/2006

Noe jury may get case as soon as Tuesday

BY MIKE WILKINSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

After three weeks of prosecution witnesses, Tom Noe s defense team said this afternoon that they could wrap up their testimony on Monday.

Jurors could get the case as early Tuesday, meaning they would begin deciding Noe s fate on Election Day as a corruption-minded electorate decides who runs Ohio and Congress.

Noe s coin funds and the scandal that followed have been used by Democrats across Ohio to taint candidates in local and state-wide races.

Defense attorney John Mitchell told Judge Thomas Osowik this afternoon that they have not more than a full day s testimony from the witnesses the defense intends to call.

If cross examination doesn t take long, both sides could be offering closing arguments on Tuesday. If the judge has time to instruct the jury, they could begin deliberating the same day.

Jurors will decide if Noe is guilty of the charges, which include theft, forgery, tampering with records, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Prosecutors believe he embezzled more than $2 mlllion from the $50 million in rare coin funds he managed on behalf of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

Prosecutors called 53 witnesses before finishing today with the testimony of Dineen Day, an investigator with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

She helped prosecutors conclude their case this morning with a flourish, showing a steady stream of checks to jurors that they say Noe wrote to himself, contractors, friends, and associates.

All of the checks, totalling nearly $4 million, were identified by Noe as coin purchases for his business Vintage Coins and Collectibles.

But Ms. Day said she could find records of only a few coins being purchased, and the value of those were below $1,000.

Noe wrote 71 checks to himself totalling nearly $1.8 million, and Ms. Day said those bought kitchen appliances, boats, and were used to improve and build his homes.

All were recorded as coin purchases, she said. But none existed.

His purchase history shows no coins purchased by Tom Noe, she said.

Assistant prosecutor John Weglian used Ms. Day to walk through hundreds of documents, showing how the coin funds claimed to buy coins when they didn t and then showing how Noe allegedly spent the money on dozens of contractors, vendors, and others.

They included 16 alleged forged checks totalling $263,000; 31 checks to repay loans or investments totalling $280,000; 61 checks to contractors and vendors totalling $1.6 million, and the 71 checks to Noe himself.

Noe has pleaded not guilty to 44 felonies and is free on $500,000 bond.

Prosecutors indicated this afternoon that they will drop several forgery charges because the alleged victim could not testify because he died several months ago. Another charge will likely be dropped as well, although Mr. Weglian did not say which one it is.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

• Day 14 testimony: Noe V.P. says he faked data with consent

• Day 13 testimony: Signatures forged on checks, 6 testify

• Day 12 testimony: Jurors see video of Noe bragging about luxuries

• Day 11 testimony: Witness says Noe moved $11.2M just before search

• Day 10 testimony: Judge likely to rule today on funds assets

• Day 9 testimony: Coin sales didn't occur, court told

• Day 8 testimony: Noncoin deposits were not factored in audit, court told

• Day 7 testimony: CPA can't confirm millions in coin sales

• Day 6 testimony: Noe jurors may hear from coin dealers

• Day 5 testimony: Ex-financial chief: No data verified purchase of coins

• Day 4 testimony: Auditor: BWC allowed Noe to spend as desired

• Day 3 testimony: Coin-fund money trail mapped

• Day 2 testimony: Noe ex-aide tells all on his finances

• Day 1 testimony: Prosecutor, defense fire away at Noe trial

Statewide news media take up posts for trial's 1st day of action

• View the Juror Questionnaire: State of Ohio v. Thomas Noe

The Tip That Toppled Tom Noe

• Part 1: Kidd's 'wrong choice' led to Noe's downfall

• Part 2: Allegation against Kidd came back to bite Noes

• Examine more Coins, Contributions and BWC coverage.



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