Louis Mahar, a former owner of ‘Mahar Brothers Construction’, is facing two felony counts of identity theft. Medford Police say he forged his estranged wife’s signature on an amended tax return and pocketed the cash.
The judge ruled it a mistrial and unlawful verdict after the jury came back evenly split, six to six.
However, the case doesn’t appear over. The judge scheduled another court proceeding next month.
Jessica Mahar says her estranged husband Louis, kept the couple’s amended tax return.
“The first time I saw these was after I requested them from the state and the IRS and I did not sign it,” Jessica said.
The case was prosecuted by the Douglas County DA’s office because of a personal connection between a Jackson County Official and the case.
“This is where it gets confusing because money is typically a civil case and this is a criminal case because he broke the law,” Ian Ross, Douglas Co. DA, said.
The couple is currently going through a divorce. One of their two daughters, a teenager, took the stand Thursday morning, bringing Louis to tears.
She testified that she saw a deposit of over $20,000 in her parents’ joint bank account and said it was withdrawn a few days later.
“Mr. Ross said this case is confusing. Okay? Something that is confusing is not proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Christopher Missiaen, defense attorney, said.
The defense says Jessica has already been paid her half of the tax refunds. She claims she got a check only after Louis was charged with a crime.
In the end, the jury seemed to agree it couldn’t reach a verdict.
Anna Weeks is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Oregon State University with a degree in Digital Communication Arts and a minor in writing. Previously, she interned with the National Association of Broadcasters at the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
Originally from the Portland area, Anna is excited to explore Southern Oregon. In her free time, she can be found reading, running or watching sports.