Bartmann acquitted of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering

Wednesday, December 3rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A ‘not guilty’ verdict for Commercial Financial Services founder Bill Bartmann. News on 6 business reporter Steve Berg was at the federal courthouse when the verdict was read.

A jury found Bill Bartmann not guilty on all of the 57 counts. They deliberated for about 3 full days. And at times, they appeared to struggle, at one point they sent a note to the judge saying they couldn't reach a verdict. So somebody on the jury needed convincing one way or the other. But the verdict is in.

Bartmann really had no expression as it was read. But he says he felt like crying. When he turned and hugged his wife and daughters, things did get emotional.

Bill Bartmann: "This whole trial summed it up by Proverbs 22:1, that a good name is more desirable than great riches. Five years ago, I had both. Five years ago Jay Jones took one of them away and a year ago, John Michelich took the other one away but hey, this jury gave me back one of them they gave me back my good name."

Bartmann’s defense attorney Pat Ryan: "I couldn't help but think of the five years that Mr. Bartmann and his family went through. People think of it in terms of a 10 or 11 week trial but this man's been enduring criticisms and allegations for over 5 years now."

When asked where he goes from here, Bartmann said, "we're going to Village Inn." He does still have his bankruptcy to resolve.