George Gill, Warren Wells, and J. Frank Hamilton studied the many boxes of tax records they had been passed by Schoeneman and the IRS. There was simply too much to use and not enough time to arrange it all. Luckily, Schoeneman had only sent the Commission the documents that dealt with French Industries’ state level evasion. But the amount of information was just too great, even for them.
The General Assembly didn’t make things any easier. Neither did Governor Beardsley. Seemed everyone wanted their findings immediately, even though they hadn’t made any decisions on the case. Hell. they hadn’t had enough time to comb through the evidence to make a finding…or even a case against Toffer French.
At the moment, they only had an inkling of what Toffer had pulled. There wasn’t enough to build any case from on the surface. All they knew was that he had committed a certain amount of fraud. How much was anybody’s guess.
“Just remember. If you think our case is going to be hard to build, the Federal case is going to be ten times harder.” George Gill was frank. “We only have to go through a fourth of the files handed over to authorities. The IRS has a fourth, State Attorney General has a fourth and the Department of Justice has a fourth. The DOJ and IRS are sharing their files with the FBI and Congress. The General Assembly will want to review our files along with what the Attorney General has. Our objective, before turning these files over for review, is to build the strongest case we can on whatever grounds we can find to build it around.”
“I think we can do that.” Warren Wells smiled. “Just from what I have read so far, there is more than enough grounds to nail French Industries and Toffer French for several counts of willful fraud, not to mention willful tax evasion.”
“But can we make it stick?” J. Frank Hamilton gave a stern look from over the top of the file he was reading. “And if we can, can we make him serve the maximum in prison for it?”
Gill nodded. “Good question.”
The three men grew quiet. There was plenty of evidence against Toffer and his company. the problem facing them now was to organize it into a case that had as few holes in it as possible. they weren’t concerned about the other criminal acts, just those that were related to taxes. Let the Attorney General and the Department of Justice worry about other criminal acts.
Not one of them could wait for this inquest to be over. If they could get a case built by the year’s end, it would be a miracle. there was still too much information to run through and they had been investigating since August of the previous year. And they still hadn’t made the slightest dent in the mounds of evidence. It was frustrating.
It was nice that George Schoeneman remained in constant contact with them. It was a blessing that he was working so closely with them. What evidence he had already processed came directly to them through government courier. Whatever they could find to help him, he accepted if he hadn’t already discovered it.
Michael Morrow sat in his den, studying the newest update to reach him. The multiple cases against Toffer couldn’t fall into place fast enough. Government agencies seemed to work so slowly, but they could only weed through the evidence at one pace. Especially that much evidence. He couldn’t help but feel a bit helpless, though. Time was slipping away and many might not live long enough to see it become a success.
Toffer’s games had seemed to end abruptly. Why was unknown, but Michael had a feeling that they weren’t over yet. It wasn’t like Toffer to just stop anything. Especially if he felt he would make money from it.
And then there was Toby, Toffer’s son. The boy should have been incarcerated long ago. Yet, he roamed freely, raping, stealing, assaulting, and causing destruction. And he always surrounded himself with the worst that Des Moines had to offer.
Toffer’s wife, Marissa, had long since vanished from the city’s elite. Michael knew better than to assume the worst, but couldn’t help wondering if she had met an untimely end. Toffer had been known to beat her mercilessly in the past. Perhaps he had finally beaten her to death. Or maybe Toby had done something to her. The boy had no respect for anyone.
Still, to assume or ponder such was not a good thing to do. Michael turned his attention back to the news in the memo. At least it wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t as positive as he would have liked.
“Daddy?” Natalia’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts and he looked up.
He smiled. “Yes, Nattie?”
She entered the den. “Mama says that dinner is ready. She sent me to tell you.”
He nodded. “Alright, Princess. Tell her I’ll be right there.”
She smiled. “OK, Daddy.”
He watched her as she turned and ran back down the hall. He was lucky. He had such a loving family. Of course, he showed them love in return as well, but he still felt blessed. He had never put wealth above family. He had never felt it necessary. He often wondered how anyone could do so.
He shook himself loose from his thoughts and rose from his chair. He had a dinner date to keep with three beautiful ladies. It was a dinner date he would not miss. Ever.
He walked toward the door. His concerns could wait until tomorrow. Tonight, he would lose himself in another episode of The Goldbergs. Tonight, He would spend time with his wife and daughters.
Turning out the light, he headed down the hallway. He could smell the aroma of the wonderful meatloaf Valeria had cooked. He smiled. A large piece of that had his name on it and he wouldn’t miss it for anything.