The attorneys for former TD (Toronto Dominion) Bank Regional Vice President, Frank Spinosa, who is facing three counts of Wire Fraud, in US District Court* in Fort Lauderdale, In the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scandal, apparently are engaged in preparation for trial. While their client certainly enjoys the presumption of innocence, is putting the Government through the expense of a trial wise, given the long list of potential witnesses, already serving their sentences, who could receive a sentence reduction for their Substantial Assistance ?
He has two very experienced, and competent, attorneys on his legal team; one is a well-known criminal defense lawyer, with extensive white-collar experience, and the other a seasoned business litigator. A question: do they have an effective defense ?
On the eve of the December 15, 2014 trial date, they made an Ore Tenus** motion for a continuance, due to the "volume of discovery," which the Court readily granted. One wonders why counsel waited until the eve of trial, before alerting the Court to their problem. In any event, counsel suggested that they needed nine months before they would be ready for trial, and the Court rescheduled the trial for October 15, 2015.
According to the filings to date, Mr. Spinosa allegedly:
(1) prepared "lock letters," on TD Bank letterhead, which attested to the fact that investor's funds were frozen, for their protection. In truth and in fact, these letters were as bogus as the out-of-court settlements that Rothstein was offering to his prospects.
(2) Allowed Rothstein to conduct sales meetings at TD Bank branches, giving the "investments" an aura of respectability.
(3) Accepted a $50,000 cash payment, as a bribe, from Rothstein, for assisting him in deceiving the prospects. Rothstein himself has previously testified on this subject.
(4) Was responsible for facilitating $250m in investor funds.
(5) Gave assurances about the safety and security of the investments to victims, as a spokesman for TD Bank.
(6) Totally deceived the victims, regarding the bank's role as guarantor and custodian of the funds.
We shall continue to follow a developments in this interesting case, as the 50-year sentence handed down to Scott Rothstein in his case might indicate that the defendant, believing that he is now facing the prospect of a long sentence, has decided to roll the proverbial dice, and go to trial. Will he get 20 years for his prominent role in the Ponzi scheme ? Will he be convicted ? Only time will tell; stay tuned.
* Case No.: 14-cr-60257-BB (SD FL).
** A motion made orally, to the Court.