After hearing arguments from both the defense and for the people regarding a motion to dismiss all 61 counts against the defendants in the Gold Country Lenders alleged fraud, conspiracy, and elder abuse case, Judge Candace Heidelberger stated that she will issue a written ruling on the matter by July 9th. The judge said that she had hoped to rule from the bench today, but needed more time to review the motion, as well as responses from Deputy State Attorney General Maggy Krell, and additional documentation submitted by the defense prior to making her ruling.
On June 14, defense attorneys Ken Tribby for Philip Lester, CEO of Gold County Lenders, and Greg Klein for Susan Laferte, CFO for Gold Country, submitted a 106 page motion to dismiss all charges against the clients stating that Deputy Attorney General Krell had presented a biased case to the grand jury and excluded what could be considered exculpatory evidence that could in fact support Lester and Laferte.
Today, in support of the motion to dismiss, Klein included references to a number counts that lacked foundation as additional reason for dismissal along with lack of documentation that the complainants were notified of the risk of investments. At one point, Klein drew an auditory reaction from the complainants in attendance when he insinuated that the complainants may just victims of the economic downturn, lack of reading disclosures, and possibly even victims of their own greed.
Tribby in his responses said the the Grand Jury was “poisoned” against his client as a result of the biased evidence and testimony of the complainants, as well as suggestive and leading questioning techniques used by Krell during the Grand Jury hearing, and the lack of testimony from others involved in dealings with Gold Country Lenders that stated they were not defrauded.
Krell responded in support of her questioning strategies, along with the need to present such a complex case to the grand jury in an understandable manner, and stated that many of the complainants were lured into investments through a pattern of trust that had been developed over years of working with Lester and Laferte.
Heidelberger set the the July 9th deadline for the written ruling and will notify both sides if an appearance is needed on the 9th. Her ruling will also reiterate potential additional court dates. Currently the trial is calendared to begin September 17.