The criminal case against Terry Diehl, a developer and former Utah Transit Authority board member, was dismissed minutes before it was scheduled to begin Monday morning.
Diehl was originally indicted in April on 12 felony counts of concealing earnings, though the number of charges shifted in the weeks leading up to the court date. Prosecutors narrowed their case three times since early October, leaving Diehl charged with a single count of false declaration before the trial was set to open on Monday.
That charge stemmed from Diehl allegedly lying on a 2012 bankruptcy filing in order to conceal earnings and assets.
U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups ruled late last week to preclude certain evidence in the case. Federal prosecutors say their arguments relied heavily on that evidence, and without it, decided to drop their case.
Diehl was accused of not reporting income from development projects, including more than a million dollars from a Frontrunner project in Draper.
The case cannot be retried since the jury had already been sworn in.
“It is unfortunate that the prosecution finds itself in a position where we cannot proceed and present this important case to a jury due to the exclusion of key evidence during the first day of the trial,” U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber said in a statement.
Today’s Justice Department’s dismissal of the only remaining count against Terry Diehl is a great relief to Terry and his family,” Diehl’s lawyer, Loren Washburn, said in a statement. “(Diehl) looks forward to reclaiming his good name and moving forward with the next chapter of his life.”