Barry Pollack Comments on Decision Overturning Conviction of his Client, a Former Colleague of Congressman Renzi, in Cronkite News

"Appeals Court Overturns Embezzlement Convictions of Former Renzi Associate"
Cronkite News

Barry Pollack discusses the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to overturn the embezzlement convictions of his client Dwayne Lequire, a former employee of then Arizona Representative Rick Renzi. Lequire was convicted in 2010 of conspiracy and eight counts of embezzlement after he took Patriot Insurance Agency funds and transferred "over $750,000 to Renzi" instead of sending them to Spirit Mountain Insurance Co. Renzi, in turn, "used those funds for personal expenditures," according to court documents. The three-judge panel agreed with the argument that Pollack had made to the Court on Lequire's behalf and ruled that while Patriot owed money to Spirit, it was not holding the money in trust for Spirit. Lequire could not be convicted of embezzling the money since Spirit did not own it in the first place, the court ruled. "The three judges that heard the case spoke unequivocally," said Pollack, who represents Lequire. "The facts simply do not support a charge of embezzlement…This should be the end of this case."

Pollack said his client was grateful the court acknowledged Lequire had been "open and transparent" with the entire process. "It’s not as if any of this money was hidden," Pollack said. Just because Patriot was late making monthly payments to Spirit, does not mean the agency was embezzling money from the insurance company by spending it elsewhere, he said. Pollack compared it to the decisions that all bill-payers face. "The time that I’m late on my mortgage payment and I buy myself lunch, that doesn’t make it embezzlement," he said. "I’m spending money at the time I owe money to somebody else." Pollack stated, "Lequire was extremely thankful that the court recognized what he has been saying all along. He never intended to commit a crime and he never did commit a crime."

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