Sentencing in Real Estate Fraud Case on Hold

The Florida Times Union, April 26, 2006 | Go to article overview

Sentencing in Real Estate Fraud Case on Hold


Sentencing of a Jacksonville real estate investor convicted of swindling dozens of home buyers was rescheduled Tuesday for May 31.

The date could be reset again if a lawyer representing J.R. Parker resubmits a motion for a new trial.

Parker, 53, was convicted in October of deceiving buyers and mortgage companies about the value of more than 200 houses he sold in Jacksonville and Orlando. He could face a series of 20-year sentences lasting the rest of his life.

Parker last week asked for a new trial, filing a motion by himself after his lawyer Mitchell Stone asked U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan for permission to withdraw from the case because Parker couldn't pay him. Corrigan declared Parker indigent and appointed Stone to act as a publicly paid lawyer for the rest of the case.

Parker's request for a new trial was stricken at a prosecutor's request because it wasn't filed by Parker's lawyer.

In a hearing Tuesday, Stone said he thought Parker's motion could be important, but he needed time to analyze it further. Parker had argued he was convicted based on perjured testimony and that buyers and lenders have made $1.3 million in profits by reselling or refinancing his houses.

Steve Patterson

MUSICIAN'S TAX EVASION TRIAL

Grammy-winning trumpeter Phil Driscoll, who once performed with such acts as Joe Cocker and Blood, Sweat & Tears and owned two music clubs in Jacksonville, funneled personal money through his music ministry in a tax-cheating scheme, a prosecutor told jurors at the start of his trial this week.

Driscoll, 58, was indicted along with his wife, Lynne, on charges of conspiracy from 1995 through 2002 and evading some federal income taxes owed for 1996 through 1999. Their trial started days after the death of another co-defendant, Chris Blankenship.

Blankenship, who was Lynne Driscoll's mother, kept the Driscolls' personal and ministry financial records. …

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