On Friday afternoon, US District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema DENIED defendant Lee Farkas’ motion to delay his trial. The trial date of April 4, 2011 remains in place.
There are no reports in the national or regional news media on this development, so you are reading yet another IBCR scoop!
UPDATE: As of 3:30 CDT, not one of the major news outlets have covered this development. His motion for a continuance was big enough to make Bloomberg, Business Wire and Dow Jones. You’d think that the Court’s decision denying the motion would be important enough to report three days after the order was entered, right?
In his motion requesting the continuance, William Cummings, Farkas’ lead defense counsel, had argued that recent revelations of “potentially exonerating evidence,” and the four recent guilty pleas by alleged co-conspirators required additional time to prepare the defense.
He also argued that evidence he might be able to use at trial remains tied up in the Colonial and Taylor Bean Chapter 11 proceedings and have not been released due to attorney – client privilege.
Those documents, are expected to have a great deal of information on the goings on during Colonial’s final days as a bank holding company.
Judge Brinkema, according to reports, was none too pleased over the speculative nature of the request and entered a terse, one-page order on Friday.
Four executives tied to the case have already pleaded guilty and are expected to testify against Farkas in the trial. The four—Desiree Brown and Raymond Bowman of Taylor Bean & Whitaker and Catherine Kissick and Teresa Kelly of Colonial Bank—have all entered guilty pleas in the last few weeks.
At Desiree Brown’s plea hearing, Cummings told reporters that Farkas had also been offered a deal by the prosecution, or has at least discussed the possibility of pleading guilty. With Brinkema’s order, his trial will go forward two weeks from today.
The pressure is on.
Exit Question: The Farkas prosecution represents the Department of Justice’s most significant criminal prosecution arising from the 2007-2009 banking crisis. If the government is willing to accept a deal with Farkas, that means there’s an even more significant defendant to be had, doesn’t it?