Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

No retrial for Wilmington Trust executives

Sophia Schmidt/Delaware Public Media

Federal prosecutors will not retry the Wilmington Trust executives whose fraud and conspiracy convictions were vacated earlier this year. 

In 2018, a jury found David Gibson, Robert Harra, William North and Kevyn Rakowski guilty of hiding hundreds of millions of dollars of past-due loans in reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve in 2009 and 2010. It was one of the only criminal cases connected to the 2008 financial crisis and misuse of federal bailout money. 

But the Third District Court of Appeals overturned most of the convictions in January over a definition of past due loans, and the bar prosecutors needed to clear for a jury to find the defendants’ statements false.

U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ office asked for a rehearing before the Third Circuit in March, but the court rejected his request last month. 

Weiss released a statement Tuesday saying prosecutors will not seek a retrial in Delaware’s U.S. District Court.

He said they must weigh the likelihood of securing a conviction and competing public safety priorities. He said the court’s opinion and the “unprecedented violent crime, the rising number of opioid overdose deaths, and domestic terrorism” facing the community led to deciding against pursuing another trial.

“David Gibson is finally exonerated," said Kenneth Breen, an attorney with Paul Hastings LLP who represented David Gibson. "This case is one that should never have been brought. Regrettably, it took a decade of fighting off the prosecutors to get here, through the investigation, trial and appeal.”


This story has been updated to include comment from Gibson's attorney.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
Related Content