Federal Fraud Trial of Bond Broker Starts
CHICAGO (AP) _ A question jurors in a federal fraud trial will have to consider is just why a former bond broker at the Chicago Board of Trade wore disguises while working in the pit.
Prosecutors maintain that Thompson B. Sanders wore the disguises and helped three other men to wear them, too, in an attempt to defraud other brokers. But Sanders’ attorney said Monday that his client was only trying to conceal his earnings from a divorce attorney.
Defense lawyer Dan K. Webb made the comments as testimony began in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen.
The trial, expected to last until mid-September, opened with an explanation of the exchange’s operations from Scott Early, general counsel for the Board of Trade. His descriptions were accompanied by two videotapes that were shown to the jury.
Sanders, 45, was indicted with Daniel Dewey, 39; David Pelleu, 45; and Dan Kolton, 24, in connection with an alleged $200,000 fraud scheme. The three other men have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against Sanders as part of a deal worked out with prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Dewey donned a wig and false identification badge and traded U.S. Treasury bond futures, submitting to Sanders a trading card that recorded the trade.
The indictment against Sanders said that if the trade made money, he would process the trading card through his brokerage business.
If the trade lost money, Sanders would not process it. The other party to the trade would not be able to trace it because of Dewey’s fake identification, prosecutors said.
Outside the courtroom, Webb said Sanders ″clearly was involved in working on the disguises.″
But he said there was no intent to cheat anybody.
″The crime is not in the disguises,″ Webb said. ″The crime is defrauding brokers in the pit and he (Sanders) didn’t do that.″
Sanders’ motive for getting involved in the scheme was to hide his earnings from a divorce lawyer representing his former wife, Webb said.
″By using this vehicle of the crazy disguises, he could make profits without the divorce lawyer finding out,″ the lawyer said.