Judge Refuses Conflict Claims in Tax Fraud Case

By: AP
By: AP

GALENA, Kan. (AP) _ A federal judge determines that a Joplin, Mo., man charged with tax fraud can pay the legal fees of his co-defendants and those co-defendants can share defense attorneys.

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot has denied a motion by federal prosecutors seeking a court hearing on whether allowing defense attorneys to represent multiple clients.

They also questioned whether Gary Hall should be allowed to pay the legal bills for his co-defendants.

Belot wrote that while he was concerned if that was happening it didn't automatically create a conflict.

Hall, 66, of rural Joplin, is president and owner of Galena-based Sunflower Supply Co.

He and seven other people and three businesses face a 43-count federal indictment alleging multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors claim the group committed $25 million in tobacco tax fraud against Oklahoma and American Indian tribes.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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