Prosecutorial Crime Spree:  How Assistant Ohio Attorney General Dan Kasaris Fabricated Tapes and Concocted Evidence to Imprison Ronald Dudas for Nearly Two Decades


Ronald Dudas is serving a 30 year prison sentence for intimidation of and retaliation against Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge David T. Matia, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and various mortgage fraud charges related to several real estate transactions.  Following his indictment, Dudas claimed the real estate transactions were lawful, no losses were suffered and that subsequent to these proceedings, newly discovered evidence confirms that banks knowingly approved all loans in question and that all contract terms were fully and transparently disclosed to all parties.  But what started as a case about real estate transactions took a bizarre turn after Dudas initially refused to plead guilty to the fraud charges.  Suddenly, Prosecutor Dan Kasaris (now working for Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost but then an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor) claimed that while the Dudas criminal case was being litigated, Dudas was, in fact, secretly plotting to murder Judge Matia so that his case would be dismissed.  Kasaris then obtained a subsequent indictment by presenting to a Grand Jury a voice recording of a discussion between Robert Harmon and an individual purporting to be Ron Dudas in which a plot to murder Judge Matia was formulated.

Dudas planned on going to trial to fight the fraud allegations, but was alarmed that his trial attorney did not have any evidence to refute the allegations of a murder plot or the underlying fraud charges.  A review of the trial court record confirms Dudas was persuaded by his trial counsel to enter guilty pleas, and family members later confirmed that they were threatened with indictments if Dudas did not promptly enter a guilty plea.  Dudas was primarily concerned about not being able to refute Mr. Harmon’s expected testimony and the audio tape that implicated him in the crimes. Moreover, legal counsel for Dudas failed to investigate the underlying mortgage fraud charges and had no witnesses to directly rebut any aspect of the prosecution’s case.  In light of these facts, along with the failure of Kasaris to produce any discovery materials, Dudas opted to take the plea offer.  Almost immediately, however, Dudas began challenging his guilty plea and still denies guilt with respect to all charges.  Nevertheless, Dudas was sentenced to 30 years in jail – far more than Kasaris promised during plea negotiations -- and Dudas has been imprisoned for over a decade and a half.

Despite being in jail, family and friends – along with Dudas himself – never gave up hope.  They retained a private investigator, obtained newly discovered evidence, and secured sworn statements from multiple individuals confirming that evidence was seized without a warrant or a proper chain of custody, not properly tracked or inventoried, that “victims” never lost any money and – most important of all – that the voice recordings made by Mr. Harmon were completely fabricated.

After several years of feeling intense guilt for framing Dudas, Harmon provided a sworn statement to the Dudas investigative team explaining the whole case was a set up.  According to Harmon’s affidavit, he attended a meeting with Kasaris, Cuyahoga County judicial officials, and Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s detectives. During this meeting, Harmon was asked to meet with Dudas in order to coerce him into making incriminating statements about his involvement in the plan to murder Judge Matia. Harmon agreed to be wired by Kasaris and but said he did not believe he could coerce Dudas into making such statements. However, he thought he could get another inmate to impersonate Dudas.  Later, Harmon said that if Kasaris would give Daniel Whitehead, another inmate, favorable treatment on his pending charges, he would convince Whitehead to impersonate Dudas on tape and make it appear that he admitted his involvement in the murder plot.  Harmon then tape recorded Whitehead giving answers that incriminated Dudas, as Harmon coached him to do, and Kasaris utilized this evidence in the case.   Years later, however, Harmon’s sworn statement made clear that the entire episode was fabricated and that Dudas never planned to kill Judge Matia or harm him in any way.  In addition, several other affidavits were secured that confirmed Mr. Whitehead had personally discussed with him the need to fabricate a tape to frame Dudas in a fake murder plot.  In addition, an affidavit from Dudas’ sister was presented in court, indicating that undue pressure that was placed on her brother and his family members to enter the guilty pleas.

More recently, newly discovered evidence confirms that the underlying fraud charges are completely false, especially since many of the lenders portrayed as innocent victims of mortgage fraud schemes in the Dudas prosecution, including Bank of America’s First Franklin Financial, later reached multi-billion dollar settlements with the Justice Department.  These lenders admitted they knowingly made loans that did not meet lending guidelines, or allowed borrowers who were behind on mortgage payments or in foreclosure to refinance their homes, details at

Dudas has argued in multiple court filings that the substantive nature of this newly discovered evidence meant his guilty plea was not knowing, intelligent, and voluntary because it was based on fabricated and untrue evidence and must be vacated.  He has also sought an evidentiary hearing to fully develop a factual record of misconduct in his case, but all efforts have been denied as of this date.  Nevertheless, a vigorous investigation is continuing to unearth new evidence of a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice, led by Assistant Ohio Attorney General Dan Kasaris.

Like Dudas, many other defendants have alleged prosecutorial misconduct by Kasaris and some defendants have had their convictions vacated or been released from prison, including former state representative Peter Beck, see State v. Beck, 2016-Ohio-8122, First Appellate District of Ohio.  Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Daniel Gaul has stated in writing that Kasaris committed “misconduct” in Tony Viola’s criminal case while Judge Nancy Russo has released multiple defendants early from prison in cases where proof of wrongdoing by Kasaris was credibly presented.

“Fabricating evidence in criminal cases is just another day at the office for Dan Kasaris,” said Tony Viola.  “I was released from jail after an exoneration at a second trial and following admissions that prosecutors, including Dan Kasaris, made false statements about evidence in my case. Over the past decade, our investigative team has obtained proof that Kasaris had a romantic relationship with government witness Kathryn Clover, directed his Office Manager to make a series of illegal voice recordings, knowingly used perjured testimony to ‘win’ cases, misappropriated funds intended for crime victims, engaged in witness intimidation, made undisclosed payments to government informants and used his private Yahoo email account to engage in official government business.  Don’t take my word for it, read the documents for yourself or check out and emails Kasaris sent to Kathryn Clover describing “banging in the car” and “hand jobs” and in the Evidence locker.”

 Ron Dudas released the following statement concerning his case:  “I have repeatedly asked for an evidentiary hearing to present proof of my innocence on the underlying financial fraud charges and on the ridiculous claim that I tried to murder a sitting judge to somehow make my case go away.  I have continued to obtain important new evidence and those efforts are ongoing.  This fight will continue for as long as it takes to clear my name and hold Dan Kasaris accountable for what he has done to me, my family and many other people.”

Documents referenced here along with many others have been posted in the Evidence Locker under “Ron Dudas Case Documents.”.  To learn more about Ron’s case, or to read his court filings, please visit the Lake County Court of Common Pleas website,, and search Ohio v. Dudas, Case Nos. 06 CR 000560 and 06 CR 000700.


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