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Statewide Grand Jury Indicts Gold County Lenders Defendants

It was a bit of surprise to the defendants in the Gold Country Lenders fraud, conspiracy, and elder abuse case when they learned today that the Attorney General had opted to present the case to the Grand Jury and a new indictment has been issued. As a result, Phil Lester and Susan Laferte have been arraigned on the new charges and entered pleas of not guilty. Executive Officer for the Nevada County Superior Court, Sean Metroka explains the process.

Click here to listen to Executive Officer Sean Metroka

As a result of the Grand Jury indictment, Lester and Laferte will go straight to a jury trial.
Click here to listen to Executive Officer Sean Metroka

One benefit to the handling the case in this manner is a cost savings to the people.
Click here to listen to Executive Officer Sean Metroka

Because the grand Jury process is completely private, the defense did not participate in the Grand Jury hearing.
Lester and Laferte’s attorneys have requested copies of the transcripts from the proceedings which should be delivered within 10 days.  They will then have 10 days to address the transcripts.
Click here to listen to Executive Officer Sean Metroka

Lester and Laferte agreed to waive their rights to a jury trial within 60 days of the arraignment, but Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell chose to move forward. A pre trial conference has been set for February 28th and a trial readiness hearing set for March 22. The jury trial is scheduled to begin on April 9.

The Attorney General did not include defendant Jon Blinder in the case to the Grand Jury, so his proceedings continue as scheduled.
Jon Blinder is scheduled for his preliminary hearing on March 12.

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