FAMU credit union trial continues

Prosecutors are expected to rest their case today in the trial of two former officials accused of embezzling federal money in the program administered by Florida A&M.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Rhew-Miller said she will question three more witness and should rest her case sometime around noon today.

On Tuesday Teresa Hardee, FAMU’s chief financial officer, was one of the seven people who testified in the federal trial of former president of Florida A&M’s Institute on Urban Policy and Commerce, Robert Nixon, and former Federal Credit Union President Eugene Telfair.

 Nixon and Telfair were both indicted on three counts of federal charges, with conspiracy in July 2010. Both men are accused of theft from an organization receiving federal funds and embezzling funds entrusted to a federally insured credit union. The indictment charges that between 2005 and 2008, Nixon and Telfair conspired to steal approximately $134,253 in grants funds that have been awarded in connection with FAMU and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Both men face up to 70 years in prison if convicted. Nixon and Telfair have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“I wish I could comment, catch us on Friday,” Nixon said after leaving the courthouse Tuesday.

Judge Robert Hinkle gave both defendants Nixon and Telfair the option of testifying on their pending case.

Defense Attorney Gary Roberts in his opening statement said his client, Nixon, moved to Tallahassee and became involved with the Chamber of Commerce dealing with state and local grants. Former FAMU President Castell Bryant hired Nixon the end of 2004.

“The activities of 2004 do not apply to my client because by that point the checks had been deposited,” said Roberts.

Roberts also said Nixon’s job at FAMU was to close seven existing grants. “He’s not trying to communicate with Telfair, he’s trying to close out the grant.” said Roberts in his opening statement Monday.


” No comment,” Telfair said anxiously leaving today’s session.


Nixon and each have four lawyers who represented them in their case.


“It would be nice to see the trial end this week, I thought it would be next week” said Telfair’s attorney, Jimmy Judkins.   


The credit union embezzlement trial will continue today and is expected to be finished Friday afternoon.