Gear Up Defendant Takes The Stand

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. –   The prosecution rested on Tuesday in the Stacy Phelps trial.

The former CEO of AIII is accused of falsifying evidence by backdating contracts.

An auditor testified that auditors form opinions based on evidence.

“I’m not aware of a good reason to backdate a contract,” said the auditor when he took the stand.

On the other side, Phelps’ defense lawyer says Phelps was duped by Scott Westerhuis, who embezzled more than a million dollars before killing his family and himself in 2015.

Stacy Phelps took the late Tuesday afternoon.

He told the jury that he knew Scott Westerhuis for 15 years and considered him a friend.

The AIII CEO says he wanted to help indigenous students reach their educational goals. He often travelled to smaller schools for work. He said that he was the only employee authorized to use the AIII credit card during his travels. Phelps says he often drove about a thousand miles a week.

Prior to Phelps’ testimony, the defense asked the judge for an acquittal.

This case concerns an audit. The defense says the statute refers to investigation, not an audit, and those two things aren’t synonymous.

Judge Anderson voiced his concerns. However, he’s ultimately allowing the trial to proceed. Phelps should finish testifying on Wednesday.

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