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Donald Conrad, Monica Klapper Receive Top State Awards

(Phoenix, Ariz. – July 27, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today presented Donald Conrad and Monica Klapper with the Arizona Prosecuting Attorneys' Advisory Council’s highest awards. Both are attorneys in the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Office.

Conrad was presented the Arizona Felony Prosecutor of the Year Award for his commitment to prosecuting individuals who perpetuate financial fraud. He serves as Criminal Division Chief Counsel and led the prosecution team in the recently concluded Baptist Foundation of Arizona (BFA) trial.

“(Don) handled the difficult and critical testimony of a large number of cooperating witnesses whose credibility was relentlessly attacked by defense counsel,” Goddard said. “At every turn, Don succeeded because of his skillful examination and his familiarity with the documentary evidence, which corroborated the witnesses’ testimony and left little doubt as to what actually happened.”

A Maricopa County Superior Court jury found former BFA President William Crotts guilty of three counts of fraud and one count of illegally conducting an enterprise. The jury found former BFA general counsel Thomas Grabinski guilty of three counts of fraud and one count of illegally conducting an enterprise.

The case involved one of the most complex financial schemes ever brought to trial in Arizona. The defendants issued financial statements that led thousands of people to believe they were investing their savings safely and securely. BFA owed some 11,000 investors more than $550 million when the Foundation went into bankruptcy in 1999.

Klapper received the David R. White Excellence in Victim Advocacy Award for her work assisting hundreds of victims in the Baptist Foundation case. She was a member of the BFA prosecution team and worked closely with victims in this case, conducting extensive interviews with them and preparing them to testify.

“Monica’s excellent work with victims on the BFA case is an extension of her consistent devotion to victims and victims’ rights,” Goddard said. “During her time as a prosecutor, she has repeatedly gone above and beyond what most prosecutors do for their victims.”

"Don and his team did an outstanding job with a very difficult case," Goddard said. “My officeexcels at prosecuting complicated financial fraud cases because we have attorneys of the caliber of Don and Monica.”

Conrad joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1997 in the Environmental Law Section, moving to the Fraud and Public Corruption Section of the Criminal Division in 2001. In 2003, Goddard appointed him Chief Counsel of the Criminal Division. Conrad received his law degree in 1977 from Washburn University Law School in Kansas.

Klapper joined the Attorney General’s Office in 1992, left to practice with a private law firm in 1995 and returned to the Attorney General’s Criminal Division in 1999. She received her law degree in 1991 from Arizona State University.

Goddard presented the awards at the annual APAAC meeting in Oro Valley.