Pyramid players won’t be prosecuted
Crime pays in the Rogue Valley. That is, fraud pays thanks to the fumbling of Medford Police and the County DA.The two-year investigation of a Medford pyramid scheme known as the “Original Dinner Party,” has been dropped.
Is there a failure in law enforcement proceedures? According to District Attorney Mark Huddleston, the resignation of the investigating officer somehow, prevents the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office from filing charges.
Police began investigating in May 2000 when an employee of Klamath First Federal bank notified police of the apparent scam after a client requested a $5,000 cash advance to invest in a pyramid, according to police reports. Investigators said they believe a Seattle woman who works as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines started the pyramid in Medford. The crime is a class B felony subject to a maximum 10-year prison sentence and a $200,000 fine.
Because Leach resigned in June last year, it appears that there were no other investigators able to pick up the case. Without Leach to testify, the case couldn’t proceed, Deputy D.A. Matt Chancellor said. “There had been enough work done by Detective Leach that it would be extremely difficult to reproduce,” Huddleston said.
Apparently there is no proceedure for preserving and sharing case evidence. Are we to understand that individual police cases are treated as independent investigations managed by rogue detectives? It is shocking that two years of investigation the case cannot move forward.
For DA Huddleson, the line between suspect and victim is blurred. “Several local women most likely would have been charged with selling unregistered securities, Even if they lost money in the pyramid scheme, every participant was violating the law,”
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