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Florida broker's conviction in isle fraud case is reversed

By Star-Advertiser staff


The state appeals court reversed Wednesday the fraud conviction of a Florida securities broker who was found guilty for his role in what authorities said was the sale of about $1 million in promissory notes to about 20 Hawaii investors in the late 1990s.

A three-member panel of the Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled that the 2006 charges against Richard Morris were filed beyond the five-year statute of limitations. The panel unanimously reversed Morris' securities fraud conviction and set aside his maximum 20-year sentence.

Morris has been free on bond pending the appeal.

Morris was a general broker for 21st Century Satellite Communications Inc., a private cable company based in Florida which tried to get funding through promissory notes.

The company did not generate enough revenue to pay the interest on the notes, the appeals court said.

It filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

State lawyers had said the Hawaii investors lost about $1 million, and investors in other states lost more than $23 million.

They said the five-year notes promised a 13 percent return but weren't secured by the company's collateral.

Robert Byrch of Florida, who was president of company, earlier pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement.

Also pleading guilty was Douglas Nonaka, a certified public accountant in Hono­lulu who cooperated with authorities.

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Macadamiamac wrote:
Well, if the judges let him go, it's time for the victims to take justice in their own hands: tar and feather? brand a big 'F' on the perp's forehead? Cut off his right hand? Put out his eyes?
on November 1,2012 | 07:53AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Yet, again, our justice system has failed us. As I have said before, theft and burglary are not taken as seriously as other crimes. Granted the five-year statute of limitations was in place, the victims have been shafted. They should sue this creep in civil court, if just to make his life more miserable for getting away with it.
on November 1,2012 | 09:38AM
lowtone123 wrote:
You'd think the prosecutor's office would know what the statute of limitations was and when it was to expire. Incompetence.
on November 1,2012 | 11:35AM
hanoz808 wrote:
on November 1,2012 | 01:57PM
cojef wrote:
Sad a local gets involved, and he is CPA to boot. Guess his career is shot.
on November 1,2012 | 02:36PM
HD36 wrote:
John Corrizine of MF Global stole millions and wasn't even indicted. It's nice to have friends in the White House.
on November 1,2012 | 10:11PM
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