Charges Dismissed Against Zuckerman Spaeder LLP Client David C. Wittig
On August 20, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas dismissed all charges against Zuckerman Spaeder LLP client David C. Wittig. Zuckerman Spaeder partner Paula M. Junghans has represented Mr. Wittig since 2002, when the government began investigating him for wire fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, and circumventing internal company controls at Westar, an electrical utility in Topeka, KS, formerly known as Western Energy. The dismissal of these charges comes in the wake of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that reversed part of the federal honest service statute used by prosecutors in the case.
This case, which the press dubbed the “Enron of Kansas,” has involved two trials—the first trial, in 2004, ended in a hung jury; the second, in 2005, ended in convictions that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit overturned in 2007. The Court of Appeals also dismissed many charges, finding that prosecutors had failed to prove that the defendants caused Westar to make false filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to the dismissal, the case had been scheduled to go to trial for a third time on the remaining charges in September 2010.