That's right folks, attorney Stephen Orchard who the federal government accused of committing among other things conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice gets a free pass! Mr. Orchard was about to go on trial for his part in the $16 million Plantation Cops mortgage fraud case along with the remaining codefendants Joe Guaracino and fellow attorney Steven Stoll when out of nowhere he apparently cut a deal with the government. Here's the joint motion to put to place Mr. Orchard on Pretrial Diversion...
Stephen Orchard Pretrial Diversion Agreement
What exactly happened here? I'm not too familiar with this pretrial diversion, from what I understand the defendant is basically put on probation for a period of time (18 months in Mr. Orchard's case) and upon successfully completing the pretrial diversion program the charges against him are dismissed. You have to wonder, what changed the governments mind this late in the game, literally days before the trial? Anyone venture a guess?
With Mr. Orchard off the hook, that leaves two of the original codefendants set for trial, Joe Guaracino and attorney Steven Stoll. Should be interesting.