Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Theft charge dismissed against Sun Valley businessman

Goldberg still faces allegation of probation violation

Express Staff Writer

A felony theft charge has been dismissed in Blaine County Magistrate Court against Sun Valley businessman Gary J. Goldberg.

Goldberg, 51, had been accused of receiving payment twice for an automobile he sold in 2007 for $19,000 to a Salt Lake City dealership. He was accused of receiving two checks, the second one a replacement check, and negotiating them both.

"In my opinion, I don't think they can prove intent," said Hailey attorney Michael Kraynick, who represents Goldberg, a municipal bonds trader.

The motion to dismiss the grand theft charge was filed in January by the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and the order granting the dismissal was approved by Judge R. Ted Israel.

However, the case was dismissed without prejudice, which leaves prosecutors the option of refiling a charge.

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Angela S. Nelson wrote in the motion to dismiss that "the state has requested additional bank records and will be refiling the complaint after these records have been received and reviewed."

Kraynick said he doesn't know what additional records prosecutors might be seeking.

"How this thing shakes out, I don't know," said Kraynick, who earlier blamed the check cashing snafu on Zions Bank in Ketchum.

Goldberg still faces allegations of probation violation after pleading guilty in 2006 to possessing stolen art pieces from Kneeland Gallery in Ketchum. He was sentenced in October of that year to three years probation and given a withheld judgment, which means the conviction can be removed from his record if he successfully meets the conditions of probation.

The prosecuting attorney's office alleges that he hasn't, and filed a "petition to revoke probation" last December in district court. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Matt Fredback alleged that Goldberg failed several times to report to his probation officer as required.

Though the grand theft charge was dismissed, the probation revocation allegation is still pending and is scheduled to be heard on March 31 by District Court Judge Robert J. Elgee.

"We're still dealing with that," said Kraynick, who described the failure to report allegations as "really minor stuff."

"I think they threw that in with the other thing just for good measure," he said.

Terry Smith:

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