JetCoin CFTC civil case stayed, Aggesen’s attorney issue
The CFTC’s fraud case against four JetCoin scammers has been stayed, pending the outcome of parallel criminal proceedings.
The DOJ sought the stay via an April 19th filed Motion to Intervene.
A stay of proceedings is appropriate because the government’s motion is timely and the same alleged fraudulent schemes are at issue in both the Civil and Criminal Cases.
Moreover, a stay is necessary, as the defendants should not be permitted to use civil discovery in the Civil Case to avoid the restrictions on criminal discovery that would otherwise pertain to them in the Criminal Case.
A stay is also necessary to promote judicial economy.
The court agreed and granted the stay on April 25th.
In related news the DOJ has objected to Gregory Aggesen’s attorney, Howard Greenberg, Esq (right).
Conflicts of interest arise from Mr. Greenberg’s involvement as a fact witness to the defendant’s and others’ obstruction of justice and the likelihood that Mr. Greenberg will be a witness at trial in this matter.
Lawyers are generally barred from acting as both an advocate and a witness in the same proceeding.
A 2021 Amazon series titled “Last Chance Lawyer”, describes Greenberg as “one of New York’s most infamous, outlandish and feared criminal defense attorneys”.
A VICE documentary from 2016 frames Greenberg as “the real Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul”.
We go looking for a real-life Saul Goodman and find Howard Greenberg — a fast-talking, boundary-pushing, notoriously eccentric criminal defense attorney in Brooklyn.
The DOJ clarify they aren’t contending
Mr. Greenberg knowingly provided false information to the grand jury, or otherwise engaged in potentially criminal or unethical conduct.
Their issue pertains to an alleged obstruction of justice, which occurred while Greenberg was representing Aggesen (right).
As recounted by the DOJ;
In June 2021 the FBI served Aggesen with notice of a grand jury subpoena.
The grand jury subpoena requested certain documents, including any and all records related to EmpowerCoin, ECoinPlus, and Jet-Coin.
In response to the government’s request for documents, Mr. Greenberg, who was serving as the defendant’s attorney at the time, submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (“this Office”) an email, dated July 27, 2021, from co-defendant White, who claimed to be responding to the grand jury subpoena on the defendant’s behalf and asserted that no responsive documents existed.
The July 27, 2021 email referred to the earlier FTC probe, which the defendant, White, and Golden also obstructed, and contained materially false and misleading statements.
In essence, the DOJ’s position is Aggesen, through co-defendant White and whilst represented by Greenberg, lied about the existence of documents the subpoena requested.
White sent Mr. Greenberg an email containing materially false and misleading information to be provided to the grand jury.
As a result, the DOJ puts forth Aggesen’s
obstruction scheme raises serious concerns that require the Court’s intervention ahead of any trial in this matter.
Even if Mr. Greenberg is not called as a witness, his first-hand knowledge and involvement in forwarding the July 27, 2021 email to the government raises the specter that he will act as an unsworn witness for the defendant at trial.
To that end the DOJ requested the court conduct a Curcio inquiry,
to advise the defendant regarding Mr. Greenberg’s potential conflicts of interest and the defendant’s right to conflict-free representation, and to determine if he can waive those rights.
Aggesen was appointed Curcio Counsel on April 22nd. This is the first time I’ve come across Curcio proceedings so I’m not sure on the particulars or how long they take.
Aggesen’s next status conference is scheduled for May 11th. The DOJ has requested the court address the raised issue with Greenberg then.