New Trial for Seda; Conviction overturned on Evidence Handling
Pete Seda, the Ashland arborist, will get a new trial for money laundering following the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that federal agents over stepped their bounds during the 2004 search of Seda’s Ashland home. Two of the judges chided the government for withholding and misrepresenting evidence to defense attorneys.
A jury had convicted Seda on tax evasion and conspiracy charges for using his charity to smuggle more than $150,000 from Ashland to Saudi Arabia in 2000 and later for signing a fraudulent tax return to cover it up.
Two of the three judges accused the government of tunnel vision, although the dissenting judge lauded the government for extraordinary efforts to handle evidence properly in a sensitive case involving national security and intelligence secrets.
Friday’s ruling returns Seda’s case to the U.S. District Court in Eugene for a new trial.