Feb. 26, 2013
-- On February 25, 2013, Irell & Manella LLP secured a dismissal of all 306 counts of an indictment brought by the Nevada Attorney General’s “Mortgage Fraud Task Force” against client Gary Trafford in a high-profile prosecution followed by observers around the country. Trafford, a Lender Processing Services title officer, was indicted in November 2011 and faced more than 200 felony and 100 misdemeanor charges for allegedly directing the fraudulent notarization and filing of paperwork used to initiate foreclosures on homeowners in the Las Vegas area. At the time the charges were handed down, the Nevada Attorney General’s office trumpeted the indictment as being the first criminal case in the nation filed in connection with the so-called “robo-signing”
scandal and claimed that the “grand jury found probable cause that there was a robo-signing scheme that resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents.”
In a hearing on February 25, Clark County District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth dismissed all charges against Trafford. An involuntary dismissal of criminal charges before trial is a rare occurrence. The court’s dismissal order, however, was based on arguments and facts Irell presented to show that the charges leveled against Trafford were not supported by evidence and that the prosecution committed misconduct in the grand jury by presenting irrelevant and highly inflammatory testimony concerning matters unrelated to Trafford.
The Irell team included attorneys John Hueston, Marshall Camp, Glenn Vanzura and Andrew Ow.