Friday, January 22, 1988
Cases Included False Testimony By 'Expert'
(AP) _ A man who testified as an "expert witness" in several
against brokerage firms was actually a college dropout who
about his education and work experience, prosecutors said.
The discovery throws into jeopardy judgments and other rulings
in an undetermined number of cases in which Thomas E. Nix
on behalf of investors suing their brokers for alleged
of funds, officials said.
The finding already has resulted in the dismissal of one
and formed the basis of an appeal in another case.
Nix has agreed to plead guilty to one count of making false
in a lawsuit, and could receive up to five years in prison
a $10,000 fine, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Prosecutors said the Florence, Ala., man lied under oath about
degrees from two universities and experience at several
institutions when he testified in 1986 in an arbitration
involving Dean Witter Reynolds Inc.
Lawyers who hired Nix to testify about financial matters,
lawyers for securities companies and the U.S. attorney's
said Thursday they did not know the exact number of cases in
Robert Dyer, an Orlando attorney who specializes in suing
said he used Nix as a witness in four or five cases. He
he knows of at least two other lawyers who used him. In one
he said, the testimony resulted in a damage award of $800,000.
"In all honesty, the factual basis of the testimony there was
wrong with," Dyer said. "It's peculiar. Why would someone
about their credentials?"
The U.S. attorney's complaint charged that Nix falsely
he had a bachelor's degree in finance from the University
Alabama and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Columbia
He also falsely testified he was employed with the
Investment Group, with Lloyd's of London and with St.
Fire and Marine Insurance Co., the complaint said.
Dyer said that Nix, who is in his mid-20s, actually attended
University of Alabama engineering school for three years but did
Because of Nix' false testimony, Dean Witter is appealing a
damage award made to James and Beverly Bonar of Orlando
a suit in which Nix took the stand.
In addition, an arbitrator dismissed a complaint against A.G.
& Sons Inc. learned of the false testimony. The dismissal is
Nix's lawyer, William Sheaffer, did not immediately return a
call Friday seeking further comment. Nix's telephone