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Former stanford employees lose motion to dismiss

Posted on February 10, 2010 3:00 AM EST

Two former Allen Stanford employees currently on trial in a Miami federal court lost their first attempt to have the charges dismissed during trial. The Miami criminal attorneys representing Thomas Rafanello and Bruce Perraud argued motions to dismiss after federal prosecutors rested their case. United States District Judge Richard Goldberg denied defense counsels' motions after hearing arguments from both sides. After denying the motion, Judge Goldberg did comment that he hoped that the prosecutors could prove intent, a necessary element to the crime. The judge called their evidence, "precious thin". There will be another opportunity to argue a second motion to dismiss at the close the defense's case. The trial began on February 1, 2010 and is expected to be completed late this week or by the beginning of next week.

Allen Stanford is charged with running a $7 billion "Ponzi Scheme". Sanford hired Rafanello after he left the DEA to head up the security Allen Stanford's financial empire. Stanford is currently in federal custody awaiting charges in a Houston correctional facility. Sanford has been indicted in numerous counts including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, racketeering and money laundering. Rafanello's co-defendant, Bruce Perraud was employed by Stanford as a global security specialist. After federal authorities shut down Stanford's operation, Rafanello and Perraud allegedly destroyed reams of documents in contravention of a court order. Both individuals were the first being tried that were involved with Stanford's investment fraud scandal. Each is facing up to forty years in federal prison if they are convicted on all four counts.

The criminal defense attorneys representing Perraud and Rafanello have argued from the inception of the case that paperless copies of the documents purported to be shredded existed, thereby negating the defendants' intent to commit a crime. One of the attorneys argued today that was no evidence of corrupt intent and requested that the judge end the case at the time of the motion. Government prosecutors argued that the defendants were destroying records in contravention of a court order and that we will never know what documents were destroyed. Judge Goldberg replied, "Well, you'll never know because you haven't bothered to look." The judge referred to the documents that were stored in the paperless system.

Despite the fact that the federal authorities discovered dozens of Ponzi Schemes over the past months, the cases seem to proceeding to trial at a slow pace. The slow pace from arraignment to trial can be expected in state court, but it is unusual in federal court. The complexity of the cases and legal maneuvering of experienced criminal lawyers tend to delay the cases. Eventually, all of those accused of creating schemes to defraud will appear in court. Only time will tell which ones will go to jail and which one will be exonerated. If you or anyone you know is being investigated for or has been arrested and charged in a fraud case, contact an experienced criminal attorney to fight the charges.

Alleged Stanford Shredders Loss Bid to Dismiss Case, Business Week, February 9, 2010.
Categories: Fraud