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Public Defender Preparing for Hearings

In preparation for the upcoming trial of Phil Lester, his wife Ellen, his sister Susan Laferte, and a former business associate accused of bilking Nevada County residents of millions of dollars, the Nevada County Public Defender’s office is waiting for supporting documentation from the State Attorney General’s Office. Public Defender Donald Lown stated that if the estimated number of pages that has been shared with him is accurate, it could be in the tens of thousands or it could be as high as 400,000 pages.

Additional preparations include reviewing the multiple counts of fraud,conspiracy, and elder abuse for potential conflicts of interest between any combination of attorneys, purported victims, and the accused.

Mr. Lown, who chose not to be recorded,  says the case is in such an early phase that at this time he is declining to comment on any details until he had a chance to review the documentation. When asked about the the difference between fraud, conspiracy, and elder abuse he explained that it is the age of a purported victim or victims that would determine if elder abuse was involved. Lown said that this case has unique elements that he could not discuss at this time.

Phil Lester and Susan Laferte will be back in court on October 4th for a bail review hearing.

Ellen Lester has been released on her own recognizance but must remain in Nevada County and can only leave the county for up to five days at a time to address business in Riverside County which is her listed county of residence.

Former business associate Jon Blinder is scheduled to be arraigned on October 23.

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