By Associated Press - Friday, March 21, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An FBI agent died of a self-inflected gunshot to the head sometime after testifying at a securities-fraud trial, putting the trial on hold, officials in southwest Idaho said.

Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg on Thursday confirmed to the Idaho Statesman ( ) the death of 34-year-old Rebekah E. Morse. A caller reported the death to the Ada County dispatch center about 8 a.m. Thursday.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Morse testified in U.S. District Court in Boise in a case involving the failed Boise-area real estate company DBSI Inc.

Company President Douglas Swenson, company attorney Mark Ellison, and Jeremy Swenson and David Swenson face a combined 89 criminal counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering. Jeremy Swenson and David Swenson are company secretaries and the sons of Douglas Swenson.

Defense attorneys on Tuesday sought access to Morse’s written notes, but U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled that prosecutors didn’t have to share the notes.

The trial is not scheduled to resume within the next week. Attorneys declined to comment, one of them citing a gag order.

“The FBI mourns the loss of our friend and colleague, SA Rebekah Morse,” said Special Agent William Facer from the FBI’s Salt Lake City Division, which covers Idaho, Utah and Montana.

More than 22,000 claims have been filed with the bankruptcy trustee by investors, property owners, vendors and state and local governments seeking to recover more than $102 billion from DBSI’s collapse.

DBSI ran into trouble when the housing crisis began to hit the country. Investors, including former Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Hill of Montana, accused DBSI of fraud in a billion-dollar class action lawsuit.

DBSI at one time managed 280 shopping centers, office buildings and other commercial buildings in Idaho and 33 other states, with the holdings worth $2.7 billion.

DBSI sold fractional shares to groups of investors.


Information from: Idaho Statesman,

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