Thursday, 11 February 2016
Last updated 20 hours ago
May 2 2013 | 9:06am ET
Lawyers for accused hedge fund fraudster Michael Balboa will not have any extra time to prepare for his trial, a federal judge said yesterday.
U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty said that Balboa's trial on fraud and conspiracy charges will begin on June 10—at least a month earlier than Balboa's lawyers had sought. One of them, Chad Seigel, said that his firm had been overwhelmed by the number of documents they had received from the government, Law360 reports.
"There's tremendous concern about our ability to proceed and to do so effectively given this situation," Seigel said. "We are reluctant to proceed to trial without being fully prepared and effectively prepared."
"I'm really not very sympathetic at all," Crotty said. "This case is well over a year old…. You had the documents."
"I have a calendar to run," the judge added.
Balboa was arrested in 2011 and accused of overvaluing his Millennium Global Investments' assets to earn higher fees. Prosecutors said he invested in illiquid bonds, some in Nigeria and Uruguay, which he and two brokers then inflated in value. Those bogus values were then hidden from Millennium Global's independent auditor and trumpeted to Millennium's clients in monthly newsletters. The fund, which claimed to manage US$844 million, collapsed in 2008; Balboa was paid 40% of the fees the fund earned, which amounted to some US$6.5 million.
Balboa was set to stand trial this month, but Crotty delayed it after his lawyers revealed that a technical issue had left them unable to search about one million documents turned over by the government. This time, Seigel complained that the firm had been busy with another trial and had been unable to review the documents.