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Noe appeal calls trial, 18-year term unfair

Coin dealer in prison fights 2006 conviction for $13.7 million theft

By Mark Niquette for THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Tom Noe to appeal sentenceThe coin dealer convicted of stealing state money in a scandal that helped Democrats recapture most statewide offices in 2006 has appealed, arguing in part that he didn’t get a fair trial.

In the appeal filed yesterday, Republican Thomas W. Noe’s lawyers argue that his conviction should be overturned or that he should be resentenced because his 18-year prison term is too harsh.

They allege that his rights were violated because, among other things, the trial was not moved out of Lucas County, where Noe faced an “overwhelmingly negative media onslaught” before and during the trial.

The appeal filed with the state’s 6th District Court of Appeals in Toledo lists seven major grounds for vacating Noe’s conviction and sentence, including that prosecutors failed to prove each element of each specific charge.

Tom Noe conferring at his trial in 2006Lucas County Prosecutor Julia R. Bates said yesterday that she had not yet read the appeal, but she insisted that Noe received a fair trial. Although it was a high-profile case, most of the prospective jurors didn’t know many of the details, she said.

Noe, 53, managed a $50 million investment in rare coins and other items for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The investment was shut down in May 2005, and Noe was found guilty of stealing $13.7 million for personal use.

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