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Bruce, being Bruce, says he would rather go to jail, even at the "risk of being sodomized"--and perhaps attracting some publicity. In the meantime, last Thursday he was back in Denver County Court, arguing that he'd been singled out for prosecution and citing misconduct by Armatas. "He's a real estate investor who's a failure," says Bruce. "I'm a real estate investor who's successful. How does somebody whose income is $74,000 a year borrow $2 million?"

It's a good question, and Bruce takes pleasure in asking it. After all, Armatas was the man who sent a magistrate to arrest Bruce two months ago--after misplacing a certified letter that had arrived at the courthouse the week before. "This guy's made my life miserable for two years--and you didn't help any," Bruce tells me. "I knew he was morally and intellectually bankrupt. I just didn't know he was financially bankrupt."

The Bruce trial in August '93 was quite a circus. "This case is an atrocity," Armatas told the prosecutor and Bruce. "You're both too busy on your own soapboxes."

But by sitting in judgment on one real-estate investor when he had all too real real-estate problems of his own, Armatas has given Bruce a boost right back onto his soapbox.

And that is a liability beyond forgiveness.

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