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Sentencing delayed after William Liddle stabbed in Phoenix
However, Rhonda Liddle receives sentence
PHOENIX — William Liddle’s sentencing for his role in the AEA fraud case has been delayed after he was stabbed in his backyard Monday morning.
William Liddle’s attorney, David Eisenberg, told the court he had been informed that his client had been struck on the head while he was in the back yard of his home in Phoenix. Liddle reported that when he regained consciousness, he had a knife in his chest.
Liddle apparently wasn’t seriously injured, had not called the police and was reportedly concerned about still trying to get to court. Eisenberg said he spoke to Liddle’s older daughter, who was home at the time but hadn’t seen what happened. She did confirm that her father had a wound and was bleeding.
Liddle’s mother-in-law also was at the home but hadn’t seen the incident, either.
Eisenberg urged the daughter to make sure her father received medical treatment. A family member who was in court left to be with the Liddles’ two girls so they wouldn’t be alone.
“This sounds like a very unusual story,” U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said, “especially with the timing.”
She told Eisenberg she wanted documentation of the incident by noon Tuesday or she would issue a warrant for Liddle’s arrest.
The court later received confirmation that the police had responded to the scene and were taking Liddle to a Phoenix-area hospital.
Liddle, former vice president of business lending for AEA Federal Credit Union, was found guilty in February of 54 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering in the case that cost the financial institution an estimated $30 million in losses. A new date for his sentencing has not yet been determined.
Meanwhile, Liddle’s wife, Rhonda, was sentenced Monday as scheduled for her role in the case, to 12 months of home incarceration, followed by five years of supervised release.
Attorneys with both the U.S. government who prosecuted the case and AEA officials agreed they were not opposed to the alternative sentence for Rhonda Liddle.
It will allow her to remain with the couple’s two daughters, ages 9 and 15.
Bolton said that in her view, Rhonda Liddle’s role was minor and she had “clearly” acted at the direction of her husband. However, the judge added, it also became clear that Rhonda Liddle had to have had some sense that the couple was receiving money obtained illegally.
“Why you are here, Mrs. Liddle, is because you didn’t question it. You did what your husband asked and enjoyed the benefits.”
A restitution hearing has been scheduled for June 19.
Reporter Joyce Lobeck is in Phoenix for the latest coverage in the AEA fraud trial.