Details, Details

The prosecution's evidence seems convincing--but will the jury grasp it?

Symington's rosy valuations came at the same time Boyce was issuing a December 31, 1989, year-end report on the Scottsdale Centre that was copied to Symington. Boyce's report concluded: "The one fact which does appear certain, at least in the near term, is that the market is likely to get worse before it gets better."

By the spring of 1990, Symington and other partners were discussing the possibility of placing the Scottsdale Centre into bankruptcy. The discussions were coming during the final months of Symington's gubernatorial primary election campaign. The centerpiece of Symington's campaign was his business acumen.

The bankruptcy discussions were kept private during the campaign. And just as Symington sidestepped his financial debacles during the campaign, he also failed to report that the Scottsdale Centre was nearly bankrupt on his December 31, 1990, financial statement, on which he claimed he still had $500,000 in equity in the project.

Cardona's precise questioning and Boyce's crisp testimony left little doubt that Symington had lied on his financial statements when he said his equity in the Scottsdale Centre was worth $1 million.

But does the jury care?
Defense attorney John Dowd didn't even try to contest facts during his cross examination of Boyce. Instead, he played to the jurors' emotions.

Turning on the smile and charm, Dowd immediately seized on the obvious--that the Scottsdale Centre project was extremely complicated and just too confusing to follow.

He then waltzed out a host of possible reasons for the project's failure--the real estate depression, faulty forecasts, poor advice from real estate experts.

Turning to the upside, Dowd suggested that Symington was a fighter because he didn't "fold his cards and walk away" from a failing project and that Symington paid all his obligations related to the project. And, after all, Dowd pointed out, a beautiful "premier, class-A building" was constructed.

"He had no quit?" Dowd asked Boyce.
"None whatsoever," Boyce replied.
In the end, Dowd argued, the failure of the Scottsdale Centre was simply the result of market forces that kept rents too low.

But in his redirect examination of Boyce, Cardona pointed out that the failure of the Scottsdale Centre isn't the issue.

It's the failure of Symington to accurately report the failure of the Scottsdale Centre on his financial statements used to get hundreds of millions of dollars in loans that landed Arizona's governor in U.S. District Court facing 22 felony counts.

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