PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A key government witness in a federal mortgage fraud case has been challenged by the defense, which has attacked his character and credibility.
Witness John Bariana has testified he conspired with defendants Edward and Jacqueline McCusker in the scheme to cheat desperate homeowners facing foreclosure.
But defense attorney Hope Lefeber has suggested John Bariana is falsely implicating the defendants, Edward and Jacqueline McCusker, to help himself.
In court, Lefeber asked Bariana, “And by testifying here today it’s true that you hope to get a reduced sentence, right?”
Bariana: “I am hopeful, yes.”
Lefeber: “And if, of course, you are willing to say what you have to say to get that sentence right?”
Lefeber: “You were, you never hesitated to sign your father’s name to documents fraudulently, right?”
Lefeber: “You don’t hesitate to implicate other people in fraud if it benefits you, right?”
The defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060