He pleaded guilty to eight felonies and is scheduled to be sentenced today. He pleaded guilty to eight felonies. The monies came from Unlimited Frac Sand, a company whose principals have ties to Bates, prosecutors said. Attorney Erica Giese told Senior U. District Judge David Ezra. A visibly distraught Bates was handcuffed by federal marshals and taken to jail pending his sentencing, reset for Sept.
Bates pleaded guilty to eight felonies relating to a scheme to defraud investors with FourWinds, an oil field services company. The case led to the downfall of Carlos Uresti, the longtime San Antonio lawmaker who was convicted on a 11 felonies in February. The explosive file revealed that a potential teenage witness to one of Tasmania's most notorious crimes had signed a statutory declaration which casts doubt on the conviction of a woman who has spent the past seven years behind bars for her partner's murder. Sue Neill-Fraser has spent the past seven years in jail.
On the night of Australia Day , Bob Chappell, a pillar of the local community, disappeared from the deck of the Four Winds, a yacht moored off the Hobart suburb of Sandy Bay.
Chappell's partner, Sue Neill-Fraser, is serving a year sentence for his murder. Police say she bludgeoned him to death, winched his body onto its deck, and disposed of it into the dark depths of the Derwent. Mr Richter's white paper suggests Chappell was killed when he disturbed Vass and other vagrants, who had boarded the Four Winds planning to steal from it. The dossier names two men with extensive criminal records who may be involved in the murder. Neill-Fraser has maintained her innocence, but was convicted by a jury in , a finding later upheld on appeal.
It is the biggest legal story in Tasmania.
Ex-FourWinds CEO Stan Bates taken into custody; sentencing postponed
And Richter, an intense, bearded QC regarded as one of Australia's finest and most forensic trial advocates, had travelled to Hobart to tell the Premier that police may have got it terribly wrong. Lawyer Robert Richter outside court in September last year. Credit: Jason South. The page white paper contained an extract from a secret statutory declaration made by Vass a week earlier in which she admitted to being on the yacht the night Chappell disappeared.
Along with other information detailed in the white paper, Richter believed Hodgman would be forced to consider an independent inquiry.
Despite years of intense media scrutiny of the case, the contents of the white paper have been a tightly held secret. Richter requested that Hodgman and the others in the room — Tasmania's acting attorney-general Matthew Groom and the solicitor-general Michael O'Farrell SC — not pass it to the Tasmanian police. Hodgman and Groom declined to read the white paper but agreed that O'Farrell should review it.
Richter flew back to Melbourne and waited for a reaction. Witnesses named in the white paper who helped compile or corroborate aspects of Vass's statement — her associate Karen Keefe, a lawyer Jeff Thompson, and another man who must remain anonymous, Witness X — have all been arrested by Tasmanian police and charged with perverting the course of justice.
Former police officer Colin McLaren. The police allege they have concocted or coerced evidence to clear Neill-Fraser and support Vass's statutory declaration.
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The arrests have plunged the small state's criminal justice system into the spotlight and led to claim and counterclaim of cover-ups and witness intimidation. The possibility of strong-arm tactics by the police were flagged in the white paper given to Hodgman in May. Witness X is recorded in the white paper as claiming he had been visited in jail by detectives and warned he may be charged if he co-operated with Neill-Fraser's legal team.
But police insist they have acted appropriately, accusing Neill-Fraser's supporters of dirty or illegal tactics. The case that sent Neill-Fraser to jail was circumstantial but compelling, due largely to a series of jarring lies she told police about her activities at the time of Chappell's disappearance.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Neill-Fraser has continued to protest her innocence, dividing the Tasmanian community and the mainland media. Credit: Facebook.
In her signed statutory declaration, Meaghan Vass — who in was a homeless year-old who hung out with criminals — answers a question that for years confounded police, prosecutors and defence lawyers; how did her DNA get on the deck of the Four Winds? Vass testified at the original murder trial that she had never set foot on the yacht and had nothing to do with the events of January 26, For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
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