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Are Stuart And Rose Carson Planning To Plead?

There could be a lot of reasons for the latest order in the Carson case.

Stuart and Rose Carson asked for new conditions of release. The married couple had secured their million dollar appearance bonds with two homes — one in California and the other in Florida. This month, the married couple asked the judge to cut their bonds in half and remove the encumbrance on the Florida home.

The prosecutors agreed and the judge signed the order.

Why did the Carsons ask? And why did the government agree?

We don’t know.

But in Florida, there’s an unlimited homestead exemption. That means houses aren’t subject to forced sale, either before or after death. It’s the ultimate protection against creditors — the best in the nation.

In May, the Carsons’ lost their motion to dismiss the case against them based on the definition of ‘foreign official.’

They’re accused of bribing employees at state-owned companies in Korea, China, the UAE, and Malaysia.

They have another motion to dismiss that’s pending. It argues that the Travel Act is unconstitutional and didn’t apply to their conduct. (We’ll discuss that motion in another post.)

After that, their jury trial on FCPA and Travel Act charges is set to open on June 5, 2012.

The Carsons are presumed innocent, of course. But their former employer CCI and a couple of ex-colleagues, Mario Covino and Richard Morlok, pleaded guilty in the case more than two years ago. Evidence and testimony against the Carsons will come from them.

As we’ve said, the odds are always against FCPA defendants. So if the Carsons lose their latest motion to dismiss, will they be ready to cut a plea deal with the DOJ?

And is their use of the Florida homestead exemption advance planning — protection against claims and civil litigation that might follow a guilty plea?

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Download a copy of the stipulation and proposed order to amend pretrial conditions of release for Stuart and Hong ‘Rose’ Carson here.

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