Developer Ray Marshall will face trial, a judge decided Friday, more than seven years after he was accused of embezzling more than $1 million from a city incentive package meant to anchor the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs.
Marshall appeared in court in May for the first portion of a preliminary hearing, the second half of which was held Friday. Again he sat quietly in court, still free on a $50,000 bond, accompanied by high-profile Denver attorneys Pamela Mackey and Jeffrey Pagliuca.
After hours of testimony, 4th Judicial District Judge Larry E. Schwartz ruled that prosecuting attorneys presented enough evidence to try Marshall on allegations that included misuse of money meant for specific projects and making double payments to himself from dedicated funding sources.
Pagliuca asked that Marshall’s arraignment — where he will enter a plea to the charges he faces — be set for mid-October. Marshall was indicted in 2012 on suspicion of 41 counts of theft and racketeering. Eight charges have since been dropped.
The passage of time since 2012 is expected to be a key issue in the trial. The sole source called to testify in May frequently said she forgot old details and often had to refer to her notes to refresh her memory.
Although Mackey objected to frequent references to old documents, Schwartz noted that the case is too old to expect a witness to recall every detail.
On Friday, Pagliuca argued that the alleged crimes exceed a three-year statute of limitations, but Senior Deputy District Attorney Amy Fitch replied that prosecutors should have been notified that such an argument was coming so they could have prepared.
Schwartz said he’ll hear arguments later on the statute of limitations, but that piece of the case wouldn’t be settled during the preliminary hearing.
Fitch also said during her closing statements that prosecutors showed evidence that Marshall had submitted duplicate invoices for various account draws and had essentially borrowed money from sources only to pay them back with that same money.
Marshall is accused of draining $1 million in grants and city funds from a package of more than $42.3 million that the city arranged in 2008 to prevent the U.S. Olympic Committee from moving to Chicago.
A jury acquitted him in a 2009 case in which he was accused of defrauding investors in separate development deals.
Marshall’s attorneys also have argued that some of the current charges overlap with the 2009 case and are unconstitutional because a defendant cannot be tried twice for the same alleged crimes.
Schwartz threw out that argument last year, however, well after the case was dismissed — in 2012 and 2015 — by a former judge. The Colorado Court of Appeals overturned those dismissals, and the case was revived in 2016.
Because of the city’s incentive package, the Olympic Committee moved to its current location at 27 S. Tejon St.