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Lester et al Costs Exceed $130,000

The fraud case involving Gold County Lenders CEO Philip Lester and CFO Susan LaFerte moves into its second year and so far has cost the county well over 100 thousand dollars in indigent defense funds.
Click here to listen to Rick Haffey

That’s Nevada County Chief Executive Officer Rick Haffey.

Lester and Laferte claim that they are destitute as a result of investments that went bad when the economy took a downturn and struggled for a number of years. Both Lester and LaFerte are using court appointed public defenders to represent them during the trial. Haffey says that if the charges against Lester and Laferte were brought by the county district attorney, the county would be responsible for the cost of the defense. However, the charges were filed by the State Attorney General’s Office so Haffey and other county officials feel that the state should carry that financial burden.
Click here to listen to Rick Haffey

According to County Fiscal Analyst Ryan Gruver a bill sponsored by State Senator Ted Gaines (SB16) that would provide state reimbursement to counties for non-capital punishment cases brought by the Attorney General is working its way through the legislature.

Click here to listen to Ryan Gruver

Lester and LaFerte are accused of fraudulently taking advantage of investors in Gold Country Lenders to a reported 3.2 million dollars.A hearing scheduled for October 18 has been moved to November 7th at the request of LaFerte’s Attorney Greg Klein. Lester, originally represented by Ken Tribbey, is now being represented by Mary Beth Acton an attorney¬†¬† from El Dorado Hills. Jury selection is currently scheduled for February 18.

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