Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Don Washburn of Cedar Rapids was recently convicted in Federal Court on 10 counts of Wire Fraud and 2 counts of Money Laundering. US District Court Judge Linda R. Reade stated at the end of the prosecution’s case, “I don’t see the scheme to defraud in the first nine counts.” This would make further money laundering charges impossible. She declined to grant a defense motion to dismiss stating, “Well, I’m going to let the jury look at it, but I’m going to — if they come back with a verdict, I’m going to take a really hard look at this, because I don’t know. So I’m going to reserve ruling and let the jury decide and then I’ll take a look at it in post-trial motions if they return guilty verdicts.
After the jury returned a guilty verdict Judge Reade switched gears and set sentencing for May 16, 2005. All those who Washburn was accused of defrauding were paid back prior to trial and the government’s three main witnesses actually back Washburn. All three have told the court and the US~Observer that Washburn never had any intention of defrauding them, that the monies they loaned him were definitely personal loans and they plan to attend his sentencing, at their own expense, to again testify for him.
Taking a close look at the original grand jury indictment we are informed that Leonard West, at the prompting of FBI agent Michael Kitzmiller, lied about a $100,000 loan between him and Washburn. He reportedly told the grand jury that the loan was secured with phony bricks of gold. This would be a blatant lie as the documented loan was secured with a condo owned by Washburn and the loan was repaid years prior to grand jury testimony. The FBI knew and possibly the prosecutor’s office knew this fact from documentation they possessed at the time the grand jury was convened. West mysteriously disappeared before the trial and didn’t take part in it, which is unbelievable.
It should be noted that once the feds had their original indictment they were able to easily go back to the grand jury and secure three superseding indictments against Washburn. The testimony given at trial shows the charges against Washburn to be frivolous at best. This case is the perfect example of withholding evidence from a jury. When a jury isn’t allowed to hear the “rest of the story” because of convoluted court rules and obvious collusion between witnesses (Leonard West and Roy Carver) and law enforcement, they are left with a deceptive and incomplete picture. Had the jury in this case heard everything, we have no doubt that Don Washburn would have been acquitted. Had the FBI been honest from the beginning hundreds of thousands of tax dollars would have been saved.
Was Assistant US Attorney Ian K. Thornhill involved or was he relying on the supposed honesty of his “fact finder,” FBI agent Michael Kitzmiller? In the interest of justice Judge Linda Reade and prosecutor Thornhill will be provided with a copy of this expository, lead article prior to sentencing. What will be her response? What will be his response? Will the judge open a much warranted investigation into the alleged plotting between Kitzmiller, West and possibly Carver? Deception, collusion and charges of tampering with, or deceiving a grand jury are obviously serious accusations and in light of the judges own words on the record regarding Washburn’s innocence, we would hope that she rules in favor of caution in this case.
Attorney Diane Marger Moore, daughter of renowned Attorney Edwin Marger and a highly respected attorney in her own rights has been retained by Washburn to attend further hearings and file a post conviction case if necessary. As we go to press the Observer has discovered a new and highly damaging witness to the fed’s case. This new witness who was not known at the time of trial can absolutely verify the existence and validity of a stolen ten million dollar check. The idea that the check never existed was used successfully by prosecutors during trial. Watch our hardcopy and usobserver.com for updates on our continuing investigation.