Judge says FBI searches in Colonies case appear just

Joe Nelson and Mike Cruz, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 11/10/2011 05:01:31 PM PST

RIVERSIDE — A federal judge seemed poised to rule that federal agents did not violate the civil rights of Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum when they served search warrants at his home and office in September.

During a two-hour hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court, Judge S. James Otero heard arguments from Burum’s attorney, Stephen G. Larson, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry A. Behnke over whether federal prosecutors should be able to retain documents and other information seized during the Sept. 15 raid.

There is no deadline or estimated amount of time for Otero to deliver a decision, lawyers said. All they can do is wait for an email alert from the court that a ruling is available.
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Seized files to be returned to Burum

In a rare move, federal prosecutors have agreed to return materials to a Rancho Cucamonga developer that were seized in September as part of an investigation into alleged corruption surrounding the $102 million lawsuit settlement between Colonies Partners LP and San Bernardino County.

The materials were seized by FBI agents serving search warrants at the offices and home of developer Jeff Burum, Colonies co-managing partner, and looking into alleged bribery and conspiracy related to the landmark 2006 settlement.

Stephen Larson, Burum’s attorney and a former federal judge, argued in the days after the Sept. 15 search that agents erred by taking documents and other materials not covered under the warrant.
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Colonies warrants, affidavits unsealed for defense lawyers

Nearly a dozen search warrants and their affidavits served by investigators probing the Colonies Partners LP $102million settlement with San Bernardino County were ordered unsealed Monday for defense lawyers.

Lawyers for Jeff Burum, co-managing partner of Colonies Partners LP, have been trying to secure release of the warrants since June as part of their effort to fight the criminal charges against their client.

Those charges are part of a sweeping criminal probe of alleged county corruption.
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Developer Burum’s attorney says FBI searches unconstitutional

Joe Nelson, The (San Bernardino County) Sun
Posted: 10/04/2011 01:59:35 PM PDT

Federal search warrants served at the home and business of Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum were unconstitutionally overbroad and vague, according to a motion filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Riverside.

Burum’s attorney, Stephen G. Larson, is demanding that all of Burum’s property seized during the Sept. 15 FBI and IRS raid immediately be returned to him.

The warrants were served at nine locations in San Bernardino and Riverside counties in connection with a sweeping corruption scandal involving allegations of bribery, extortion and fraud, according to the federal search warrant.

The allegations stem from a $102 million legal settlement between the county and Burum’s development consortium, Colonies Partners LP, in November 2006.
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FBI warrants target possible conspiracy, bribery allegations tied to SBIA

SAN BERNARDINO – The FBI is investigating allegations of conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, wire and mail fraud and theft of federal funds in connection with Wednesday’s raid at San Bernardino International Airport, according to a federal search warrant.

Sources who received copies of the warrant on Wednesday and asked not to be identified confirmed the allegations. They also confirmed that investigators are hoping a truckload of documents seized during the raid will show a relationship between airport developer Scot Spencer and San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris, airport director Donald L. Rogers, aviation director Bill Ingraham and assistant director Michael Burrows, among others.

Spencer did not return several phone calls seeking comment.
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