Friday, March 27, 2015

Mubarak's state trial moved to Oct

The state felony theft trial for former Knox County Trustee's Office "ghost" employee Ray Murbarak, who also faces unrelated federal fraud charges, has been delayed until the fall.

Murbarak, who worked for the county from 2004-08, was initially scheduled for trial April 6.

However, earlier this month, Mubrarak, his wife and a business associate were arrested by Internal Revenue Service and FBI agents on charges of bank fraud.

They pleaded not guilty to those crimes and were given a May 5 court date.

On Friday morning, Murbarak's attorney Tom Dillard and state prosecutors asked Knox County Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword to delay the state trial.

"I'm not sure either side is ready, and he has other matters he needs to address," prosecutor John Gill said.

Sword set a trial date for Oct. 13. All sides will meet again July 9 for an update.

Dillard, after the brief hearing, agreed that his defense team needed more time and that they were "still working" on the case. He declined to elaborate further.

Mubarak faces a number of state felony theft charges alleging he benefited as a "ghost employee" for former trustee Mike Lowe, receiving pay for work he did not do.

Lowe cut a deal with the state earlier this month and received a year in jail and has to pay back $200,000.

Last year, a jury convicted co-defendant Delbert Morgan of theft. Morgan, who also was paid to do little if any work, received an eight-year term, all but 30 days of which are to be served on probation.

Mubarak and Morgan worked in the Knox County Trustee's Office from 2004 to March 2008.

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