DuPage women get 'double jury' in mortgage fraud case

  • Patricia Johnson

    Patricia Johnson

  • Pamela Williams

    Pamela Williams

Updated 2/14/2011 2:40 PM

Two DuPage County women accused of running a multimillion-dollar mortgage scam will stand trial at the same time, but with two different juries, a judge ruled Monday.

DuPage Judge John Kinsella ordered the "double jury" after a defense attorney for Pamela Williams, 58, of Darien, filed to sever her case from that of co-defendant Patricia Johnson, 57, of Naperville.


Attorney George Thomas, who represents Williams, said he expects prosecutors at trial to introduce certain statements made by just one of the defendants, which could potentially prejudice jurors against the other.

With a double jury, the two panels will simultaneously hear evidence that is relevant to both defendants, and separately hear arguments and evidence pertaining to just one.

Each set of jurors will then deliberate apart from each other, and deliver verdicts in only their assigned cases.

Kinsella, who has been practicing law in Illinois for 30 years, said he had experience with a double jury once before.

"While somewhat inconvenient," he said, "it's certainly doable and not terribly burdensome."

Johnson and Williams have pleaded not guilty to charges alleging they used a Wheaton title company to scam property owners out of some $6 million in refinanced mortgage funds.

Prosecutors said dozens of victims across northern Illinois and parts of Indiana suffered losses ranging from $6,600 to $400,000, and many were left with two mortgages.

Selection of the two juries begins April 4.