Archive for Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Trial set for April on fraud charges

March 8, 2006

A Leavenworth County judge has set aside five days next month for a Tonganoxie woman's trial on 33 securities fraud charges.

In a hearing last week, Judge Frederick Stewart set an April 10 trial date for Carla Jean Meyer Senger.

Late last month, Senger -- who has served nearly 16 months in state prison -- was released from prison, after the judge allowed her to withdraw a guilty plea she'd made in 2004. In November 2004, the judge had sentenced Senger to 3 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay $465,287 in restitution.

Prosecutors had alleged Senger was involved in a $1.2 million Ponzi scheme in which investors were bilked of about $358,000.

In a Ponzi scheme, early investors in a venture are paid with investments from later investors.

Senger, who had pled guilty to three securities fraud charges, began serving her sentence immediately.

But last fall, she filed a request that her guilty plea be withdrawn, citing problems with her attorney and errors in her sentencing that meant she received a sentence that was 10 months too long.

In a late February hearing, the judge gave Senger the option of:

  • Serving the remainder of her corrected sentence -- which could mean she would be out of prison in late summer or early fall.
  • Withdrawing the guilty plea and standing trial on 33 criminal charges.

Senger decided to stand trial, so she was released from prison and transferred to Leavenworth County Jail, where she later was released on bond.

While Senger had pled guilty to three criminal charges, she now will face the original 33 charges at trial.

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