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Defending Victim Rights: Dispute Is Over Coast Verdict

Sarasota Herald Tribune, 1-27-2009  "Dispute Is Over Coast Verdict":  Alan Tannenbaum defending the rights of victims of financial fraud (article posted by Tricia M. Foster)

As part of the plea deal, the government agreed that Coast Bank, not the borrowers, was the single victim of the crime.

But Sarasota attorney Alan Tannenbaum, who represents more than 140 Coast loan customers, convinced the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December that the borrowers were victims under the federal Crime Victims Rights Act.

Federal prosecutors have filed a motion for a rehearing with the Atlanta court of appeals on the grounds that it had improperly characterized the borrowers as victims.

"The filing is notable if for no other reason than that it is the first time nationwide that federal prosecutors have joined forces with a criminal defendant to ask an appellate court to rehear a case in order to take away legally recognized rights of victims," Tannenbaum said Monday. "It is very inconvenient for the government to have victims of a crime at the table with the defendant."



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