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Former CEO Of Iconix Neil Cole Seeks Only Vaccinated Jurors In Letter With Redactions

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 4 – Neil Cole, the brand manager charged with financial chicanery was freed on $1 million bond on December 5, 2019 and allowed to travel throughout the United States by agreement of the US Attorney's Office, contrary to the "SDNY and EDNY only" restrictions they routinely place on less affluent defendants.

SDNY Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses accepted the agreed bail conditions, and said that they can be appealed or asked to be modified before SDNY Judge Edgardo Ramos to whom the case was assigned.

On December 29, the US Attorney's Office opposed Cole's subpoena served on Baked by Melissa, where Seth Horowitz, a Government cooperating witness, was the CEO. The US Attorney's Office says the information sought is not relevant, but rather a fishing expedition.

On January 4 Cole's lawyers at Paul Weiss wrote to Judge Ramos, "We understand that Seth Horowitz, now a cooperating witness for the government, also was scheduled to provide SEC testimony in late 2018, but that at or around the same time that Mr. Cole's testimony was rescheduled, Mr. Horowitz's testimony was canceled, likely at the request of the U.S. Attorney's Office, to prevent Mr. Horowitz from testifying and avoid creating a record that could be helpful to Mr. Cole... In July 2020, counsel for Mr. Cole submission a FOIA request to the SEC."

On September 10, Cole filed a motion in limine seeking to exclude evidence of his sale of a million shares of Iconix stock, saying allowing it in would create "unfair prejudice."

Now on  October 3, Cole has insisted there should only be vaccinated jurors on his jury, while redacting two full lines and a footnote of his submission. Why so secret?

On September 30 in an in-person final pre trial conference, Cole's lawyer argued that hearing "$28 million" would be prejudicial. The AUSA said it show motive, and Judge Ramos agreed, citing US v. Quattrone, 441 F.3d 153, 179-80 (2d Cir. 2006).

On October 2, Cole's lawyer renewed their request: "As discussed at the final pretrial conference, we respectfully submit this letter to request that the Court reconsider its decision to allow the government to introduce evidence of the proceeds of Mr. Cole’s sale of Iconix stock in 2014... In addition to lacking probative value and presenting a serious risk of misleading and confusing the jury, the evidence also presents a risk of unfair prejudice because the large dollar figure “play[s] into a bias against people of wealth.” United States v. Cassese, 290 F. Supp. 2d 443, 457 (S.D.N.Y. 2003); see also United States v. Reyes, 660 F.3d 454, 463–64 (9th Cir. 2011) (affirming the decision of the district court, which “showed sensitivity to undue prejudice concerns when it forbade the introduction of evidence that [the defendant] made $500 million from the sale of [his company]’s stock, reasoning that such evidence was unduly prejudicial, whereupon the parties agreed that the jury would be told only that [the defendant] sold ‘a significant amount of [the company]’s stock’”). For all these reasons, we respectfully request that the Court reconsider Mr. Cole’s motion to exclude evidence of the stock sale proceeds. Thank you for your consideration. Respectfully submitted, /s/ Lorin L. Reisner." Full letter on Patreon here.

Now on October 3, the prosecutors have asked for a so-called Curcio hearing: "The defendant is represented by Lorin Reisner, Richard Tarlowe and Andrew Reich of the  law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. Assisting counsel of record in this  representation is Amanda Weingarten, an associate at the same firm. The Government understands  that Ms. Weingarten is in the process of applying for a position as an Assistant United States  Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and her application remains pending. As a result  of Ms. Weingarten’s application, and the potential conflict of interest that it presents, the  Government encloses a proposed set of questions for the Court to pose at pursuant to United States v. Curcio, 680 F.2d 881 (2d Cir. 1982). These questions are designed to both advise the defendant  of his right to a counsel with no such potential conflict and to confirm on the record that the  defendant is prepared to go forward with his current representation." Inner City Press will cover the trial.

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The case is US v. Cole, 19-cr-869 (Ramos).


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