Jeffreys to remain in jail until trial, judge rules
Spokane developer Gregory D. Jeffreys has talked himself out of freedom, a judge ruled Monday.
Citing his multiple violations of another judge’s order and a previously undisclosed threat made to a business associate, U.S. District Judge Rosanna Peterson ruled that Jeffreys must remain in jail during the months leading up to his January trial on charges that he defrauded millions of dollars from investors.
Jeffreys, 53, argued through his attorney that he simply uses gruff language picked up from years of working in the construction industry. He contends he’s not a threat.
“It’s our position that this is a character assassination based on stale events by adversaries of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffreys,” defense attorney Mark Vovos said. “If you look at the exhibits we filed, he has a foul mouth, frankly.”
Peterson said she did not consider it a true threat when Jeffreys said on a tape-recorded telephone conversation at the Spokane County Jail that he would “bury” FBI special agent Lisa Jangaard.
However, Peterson said she concluded he must remain in jail after he showed “disregard” when he contacted co-defendants and witnesses after his arrest. She also found credible another allegation that he threatened to harm a former business associate and his children.
Jangaard said in court Monday that a witness relayed that threat, allegedly made by Jeffreys in October 2010. Jangaard said a witness heard Jeffreys say he wanted to physically harm Dave Largent and his children. The statement “concerned (the witness) very much,” Jangaard said.
Contacted by phone Monday, Largent said he was not aware of any threats Jeffreys made against him.
“I’m well aware that (Jeffreys) doesn’t like me,” said Largent, whose investor group had majority ownership of West Plains land that Jeffreys developed. “It’s definitely concerning.”
Jeffreys is charged in the case that also names his wife, Kimberly Jeffreys, 53, and his 51-year-old girlfriend, Shannon Stiltner. Their trials have been set for Jan. 6.
Kimberly Jeffreys faces 25 counts and Stiltner faces 29 counts mostly of wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering charges. Both have posted bond, but only Kimberly Jeffreys attended the Monday hearing as a spectator.
Authorities allege the Jeffreyses and Stiltner operated what amounted to Ponzi schemes that relied on forged documents to solicit investments for several buildings in San Francisco, Coeur d’Alene, Denver and Mullan, Idaho, that didn’t exist.
In addition to the fraud case, Gregory Jeffreys also faces a single count of possession of a sawed-off shotgun that was found in the 10,000-square-foot home he had built in the Northwood neighborhood.