Prosecution fights to maintain mistrial in Section 8 fraud case

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The prosecution is pointing out that one of the defense attorneys failed to object to the mistrial before it was declared.

Guam – The prosecution in the Section 8 housing fraud case says there’s no violation of the double jeopardy rule against one of the defendants in the case, Glenn Wong.

Wong is the friend of Attorney Mark Smith who once served as legal counsel for the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority. The two are facing charges of Section 8 housing fraud after Smith allegedly continued to benefit from the Section 8 program even after he claimed to have sold his section 8 property to Wong in order to avoid a conflict of interest as GHURA legal counsel.

Their trial began last month but quickly ended in mistrial following a chain of events that eventually exposed a conflict of interest for Attorney David Lujan, who represented Smith in the case.

Wong’s legal counsel, James Maher, however, wants the case dismissed, noting that federal judge Ramona Manglona abused her discretion in declaring a mistrial since the justification for it did not necessarily apply to Wong.

But the US Attorney’s Office is opposing Wong’s motion for dismissal, pointing out that Wong’s attorney had an opportunity to object to the mistrial before it was declared, but he failed to do so. The prosecution is also arguing that Wong’s defense attorney even consented to a mistrial but on different grounds.