Phoenix, AZ Feb. 8 - The prosecution and the defense has rested their cases in the trial of the United States vs. William and Rhonda Liddle.
Closing arguments were heard for the majority of the day on Wednesday following the defense concluding testimony with Bill Liddle. Afterwards the prosecution did not call any rebuttal witnesses to testify.
In the prosecutions closing arguments, which were presented by Assistant U.S. District Attorney Raymond Woo, Bill and Rhonda were referred to as a team who were partners in crime in committing fraud and scheme against AEA Federal Credit Union.
Woo said the way it all went down was that Bill worked on the inside. Frank Ruiz and Dan Thelen would pull the cash, and then Rhonda would deposit the money and spend it. Bill Liddle's Attorney, David Eisenberg, argued this is something out of Alice and Wonderland, and the government just wants the jury to believe something that didn't happen. Eisenberg said his client was not receiving kickbacks just repayments to personal loans Mr. Liddle testified to giving Ruiz and Thelen from cash he brought back from Japan in 2003. He said it all comes down to the fact Liddle's boss, ken Bredemeyer the CEO of AEA at the time of the alleged fraud, approved the loans along with modifications and increases and nothing rebuts the conversations Mr. Liddle testified to having with Bredemeyer about them.
Eisenberg said his client had nothing to hide and the jury will not be convinced the charges are sustained, especially with the witnesses brought before them. Mark Paige, Rhonda Liddle's Attorney agreed in his closing arguments. Both defense attorneys say Thelen isn't credible because he admitted on the stand during this trial to lying about things for his benefit.
As for Ruiz, They argued he's not credible because he's an admitted thief. He testified to Using AEA loan money for personal use and he has pleaded guilty to two of the 68 count indictment hoping for a lesser sentence in testifying against the couple. Ruiz is scheduled to be sentenced next month in his part of the alleged kickback scheme.
Paige said this afternoon that in his opening statement the jury wasn't going to hear any evidence Rhonda did any wrong doing and he was right. He said the prosecution didn't present a shred of evidence his client knew of any criminal activity. He said the way the law works is not proof beyond the imagination but proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Paige says Rhonda's actions have shown nothing more than that she is a housewife that took care of the couples two daughters and went to the bank to deposit money when her husband asked her to because as Mr. Liddle testified yesterday he didn't go to the bank.
Paige will continue will his closing argument Thursday morning. Then the prosecution will have the last say with their final closing argument. The jury will then deliberate until they reach a verdict.