The fraud and tax-evasion trial of Nancy Hoover Hunter resumed Wednesday amid acrimonious exchanges between one of Hunter's lawyers and a prosecution witness.
Testimony continued in the trial after a 3 1/2-week vacation. Hunter faces 234 counts related to the J. David & Co. swindle, which defrauded about 1,200 people of nearly $90 million.
Prosecutors maintain that Hunter had intimate knowledge of the company's Ponzi scheme, but her attorneys say she was blinded by love for J. David (Jerry) Dominelli, the firm's founder and a man many considered to be a genius trader.
Carl N. Duncan, one of Dominelli's attorneys before the collapse of J. David & Co., returned to the stand after a one-month absence and became "testy" with defense attorney Robert Brewer Jr.
Answering a question about an audit conducted by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Duncan said, "So much information was withheld (by J. David officials) . . . that's why I'm getting testy up here, Mr. Brewer."
Duncan mentioned Hunter's name only a few times during his testimony, and he said that Hunter was not identified as receiving a series of letters he wrote in relation to the commission's audit.
Much of the day's testimony surrounded the commission's 1982 audit of a J. David trading pool, which Duncan helped J. David fight off. Several times during the testimony on this point, Duncan asked Brewer about the relevance of his questions.
After a mid-morning break, Duncan was warned by U. S. District Court Judge Earl B. Gilliam. "You're not to be concerned about the relevance of the questions," Gilliam said to Duncan.
Meanwhile, Gilliam also announced Wednesday that he will order government prosecutors to turn over several pages of a deposition given by Dominelli to Hunter's defense team. However, Gilliam said he will not release FBI notes related to three interviews with Dominelli because "everything there implicates the defendant."
The trial continues today. Government prosecutors are expected to rest their case in about two weeks. The defense will spend about three weeks presenting its case to the jury, Hunter's attorneys have said.