A judge has issued an order denying a motion to dismiss charges against Phillip Lester and Susan LaFerte, the principal operators of Gold Country Lenders ; the order was filed yesterday in Nevada County Superior court and vacates a ruling on the motion that was scheduled for hearing at 9am this morning.
The order, issued by Judge Candace Heidelberger, addresses a motion submitted by defense attorneys Ken Tribby and Greg Klein claiming the statute of limitations had expired on some of the alleged counts of fraud. The motion also claims the Deputy State Attorney General had failed to offer exculpatory evidence that could have led the Grand Jury to not indict Lester and Laferte. Klein and Tribby also claim incomplete or inadmissible evidence was received by the Grand Jury; and there is lack of sufficiency of evidence to prove fraud and elder abuse; as well as stating the Deputy Attorney General had presented a biased case to the Grand Jury.
After reviewing evidence and Grand Jury transcripts, Heidelberger ruled in favor of the prosecutors and set aside the indictment to dismiss.
Lester and LaFerte were arrested in September of 2012 and charged with securities fraud, conspiracy and elder abuse for operating a scheme that bilked dozens of investor’s of over $2.3 million dollars. The ruling paves the way for Lester and Laferte to proceed to a September 17th trial .