The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a Des Moines man who was found guilty in a real estate fraud case. Rod Wolford Senior was convicted of ongoing criminal conduct, first-degree theft, securities fraud, operating as an unregistered broker/dealer and the sale of unregistered securities, and was sentenced to 75 years in prison.
Wolford had formed a company with other family members that sought to buy distressed homes and re-sell them at a higher price. Wolford was convicted of taking the money from the homes that was supposed to pay mortgages and spending it on other things. Wolford appealed his conviction on several points over the instructions jurors in the case were given, including failing to tell the jury the identities of some of the victims. Wolford also said the court should have accepted jury instructions he wrote for the jury.
The Iowa Supreme Court rejected all the arguments raised by Wolford. The high court ruled the identity of the victims were not material to the case and said failing to use Wolford’s jury instructions did not hurt his case because his arguments were adequately incorporated in the court’s own instructions.