Ex-process server convicted of more counts in affidavit scheme

by Jessica Ebelhar/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Maurice Carroll, 43, a former Las Vegas police officer, was previously convicted of 17 counts related to filing false affidavits.
Maurice Carroll, 43, a former Las Vegas police officer, was previously convicted of 17 counts related to filing false affidavits.
A jury convicted former process server Maurice Carroll on Friday of 17 forgery counts in a scheme to file false affidavits in Las Vegas, Henderson and North Las Vegas justice courts.

The 12-member panel deliberated for three hours after a week of testimony and arguments.

Carroll, 43, a former Las Vegas police officer, was previously convicted of 17 counts of filing false court documents and one count of obtaining money under false pretenses in the 2010 scheme.

At the request of prosecutors, District Judge Elissa Cadish ordered Carroll remanded into custody while he awaits his Jan. 16 sentencing on all 35 felony charges.

“I think it’s finally caught up with him,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Staudaher said afterward.

The charges focus on phony court affidavits Carroll was accused of putting together in civil cases involving one of his clients, debt collector Richland Holdings.

Carroll was accused of failing to serve documents in 17 Richland Holdings cases in May and June 2010, though he certified them as served in Justice Court affidavits.

As a consequence, people named in the affidavits were not notified they were being sued by Richland Holdings.

Earlier in the weeklong trial, Staudaher told the jury many of the people Carroll swore he had served weren’t even home at the time. Some were at work, one couple was in England, and one address didn’t exist, Staudaher said.

Chief Deputy Public Defender Will Ewing maintained there was no deliberate scheme to falsify the affidavits. Ewing suggested the affidavits were prepared from “dead files” and weren’t meant to be submitted in court. Carroll used the dead files, cases involving people his company was unable to serve, to help train new employees, Ewing said.

But on Wednesday, Carroll’s former office manager testified Carroll regularly instructed her to sign affidavits falsely swearing she had served defendants.

Vilisia Coleman, 47, who worked for Carroll’s process serving company between 2007 and 2010, told a jury that Carroll sometimes handed her stacks of 20 to 30 affidavits to sign unlawfully.

Coleman pleaded guilty last year to perjury and filing false court documents and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Justice Court officials think Carroll’s company, which no longer is serving documents, might have harmed the court system over a period of years.

The company, which operated without a license for nearly seven years, was involved in some 25,000 civil cases in Las Vegas Justice Court, officials have said.

Carroll also had been standing trial on perjury charges this week in the affidavits scheme, but Cadish instructed the jury that it could only convict him of perjury or forgery.

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