Merrill drops $4 million dollar defense bid, evidence withheld
A few days ago news broke that James Merrill and Carlos Wanzeler had been granted access to $400,000 in funds. Access was approved after the pair proved the funds were not related to TelexFree.
Left hanging in the balance from last Tuesday’s hearing was $4 million Merrill had previously requested, with the outcome of his claim only now coming to light.
James Merrill, who is facing charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, withdrew his motion for a hearing after striking a deal with the government on the release of money in the civil case against the company.
A deal? Gooooooo on…
According to an order submitted by Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy, who is presiding over the criminal cases against Merrill and Wanzeler, “the United States has agreed that it will not present evidence regarding the Commerce Bank Funds, and Mr. Merrill has agreed to withdraw his motion for a hearing” for the $4 million.
Interesting, although I’m not entirely sure what to make of it.
Back in July, Merrill’s lawyer had argued that the funds should be released because
the government cannot establish probable cause to believe that the assets in dispute are traceable or otherwise sufficiently related to the crime charged in the criminal complaint.
Guess that turned out to be baloney.
Sounds to me like the SEC pretty much had opposition to Merrill’s request nailed, so he caved. I assume the withheld evidence clearly demonstrates the funds were stolen from TelexFree investors.
Not that it was ever contended, at least with any seriousness, that Merrill’s $4 million was derived from anything but TelexFree. I mean cmon…
I don’t care how good Merrill was at cleaning houses, pretending you made $4 million doing it when you were balls deep in a billion dollar Ponzi scheme was always going to be a joke.
I suppose this means Merrill will have to rely on the $400,000 to bankroll his defense. Although how that money is to be released hasn’t been made public.
Better hope Wanzeler and Merrill are still on speaking terms!
A Status Conference is scheduled for Thursday in the US, after which we should have a clearer picture of where the criminal case against Wanzeler and Merrill is currently at.
They will have a good Christmas Day!!! Ho Ho Ho….
better a bird in hand (400.000) than two in the bush (4.000.000).