NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Capitol Hill Corruption
Wilder, Cooper Subpoenaed for Conspiracy Trial
(Story created: 3/27/06)
Lt. Gov. John Wilder and state Sen. Jerry Cooper are among witnesses subpoenaed to testify at a federal fraud trial. It involves a land deal first exposed by a NewsChannel 5 investigation.
Going to trial in Chattanooga are an Alabama couple and a McMinnville real estate appraiser charged with fraud in a land deal linked to Cooper.
Defense attorneys said after a pre-trial hearing today that Cooper and Wilder have been subpoenaed to testify at the April 4th trial.
Cooper and Wilder did not immediately return telephone messages seeking comment.
Huntsville, Alabama, businessman Anthony Auyer is charged along with his wife, Teresa Auyer, and real estate appraiser James Passons of Mc-Minnville in an indictment that accuses them of inflating the value of a lumber mill.
Cooper owned the mill, and the indictment refers to the property owner as an "unindicted co-conspirator." Cooper is not charged in the case.
The indictment contends the unindicted co-conspirator "used his political contacts, connections and influence" to help Auyer obtain a $1.7 million loan. (The Associated Press.)