Petro chief's lawsuit hurt by guilty verdict
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A former prosecutor says the head of Petro America has little chance of prevailing in a civil lawsuit against the federal government after he was convicted on six criminal charges.
Israel Owen Hawkins, of Kansas City, Kan., and four others were convicted last week of falsely claiming the company had $284 billion in assets and keeping $10 million in proceeds.
Before the trial, Hawkins filed a $100 million civil lawsuit against prosecutors and the Department of Justice, alleging prosecutorial misconduct.
Todd Graves, a former federal prosecutor, says the guilty verdict means Hawkins' chances of winning his lawsuit are "slim and none."
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office says prosecutors could file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit or seek other resolution, which would require a judge's ruling.
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