U.S. District Judge David Sam refused to dismiss the first 29 counts in the fraud and theft trial of J. Gary Sheets but has taken under advisement a motion for dismissal of the last five counts.

Sam has now ruled against the defense, saying that the prosecution's evidence could reasonably support a finding that investments in a partnership called Arrowhead Village were securities.The defense lawyers had said that prosecutors did not establish that investments in the Arrowhead general partnership amounted to buying securities.

Sam ruled that true general partnerships are not securities but that an investment contract labeled "general partnership" may be a security if certain criteria are met.

Among these criteria is that profit would be expected "to be derived solely from the entrepreneurial or managerial efforts of others."

Sam ruled that whether the investments in Arrowhead really were securities is a question that the jury must answer.