Jury chosen for fraud case retrial due to sleeping attorney

Markets Associated Press

A jury has been chosen in the case of a Pennsylvania businessman accused of mortgage fraud who won a new trial because the judge, witnesses and jurors who convicted him last year saw his defense attorney sleeping.

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports jurors were selected Monday for the proceedings in the case of James Nassida scheduled to begin Aug. 29.

U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose ruled this year Nassida was denied a fair trial because attorney Stan Levenson dozed off during the October trial. Levenson has acknowledged he fell asleep because he was taking cold medicines that made him drowsy.

Nassida founded Century III Home Equity. Prosecutors allege he used inflated assets and fake property appraisals to help clients get millions of dollars in fraudulent mortgage loans.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, http://www.post-gazette.com