The Charlotte Observer on Tuesday filed a motion in federal court asking for the unsealing of documents in a case involving the late Charlotte businessman Rick Siskey.
On Dec. 21, a federal judge issued an order saying the prominent SouthPark home of Siskey and his wife, Diane, may be subject to forfeiture to the U.S. government. That ruling came after an FBI agent submitted an affidavit alleging the property had been derived from proceeds of fraud violations, including the wire fraud statute.
The Dec. 21 order did not include any details of the alleged fraud and the affidavit submitted by the FBI agent has been sealed. On Dec. 28, Rick Siskey committed suicide.
The motion says it is “well-settled” that members of the public may intervene in a court action to challenge the sealing of a document.
“The public, including the news media, have a First Amendment and common law right to access criminal proceedings and court documents, and those rights apply here,” says the motion submitted by attorney Jonathan Buchan, who is representing the Observer.
In Charlotte since 1985, Siskey, 58, was known as the founder of financial services firm Wall Street Capitol, with which he was no longer associated at the time of his death. He also invested in start-up companies and real estate. In 1995, the Siskey YMCA in Matthews was named for the family because of a donation the couple made.