Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube

More: InnerCityPro
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

Hamid Akhavan Detained in SDNY on Violation AUSA Says During Weigand Status Conference

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 7 – Hamid Akhavan and Ruben Weigand are charged with a "scheme to deceive US banks into processing in excess of $100 million for marijuana products."

 On January 7, Akhavan and Weigand had a proceeding before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jed S. Rakoff, covered by Inner City Press, below.

It emerged that Akhavan had been presented in Magistrates Court earlier in the day on an alleged violation of supervised release, and detained on consent. Inner City Press has asked the US Attorney's Office for more information. For now, here was the live tweeted thread here:

Judge Rakoff says the US Attorney's Office is saying that the Curcio (lawyers' conflict) hearings have to be re-done in person - he says he doesn't necessarily agree, but the government is running scared. So, pick a day after Feb 16

AUSA Dimase: We have an additional issue as to Mr. Akhavan - one of his lawyers had email contact with a likely witness during the time frame of the charged conspiracy. Judge Rakoff: OK, we'll deal with that and with the alleged violations of supervised release Inner City Press

Hamid Akhavan is now in detention, after presentation to an SDNY Magistrate today, AUSA Dimase says. There was no announcement of that proceeding. Inner City Press will dig

Inner City Press has been digging into the possible Wirecard link.

 On July 27, Judge Rakoff held an oral argument on motions to dismiss, and motions to suppress, with a trial scheduled for January 2021. Inner City Press live tweeted it:

Judge Rakoff expressing frustration at counsel going over old ground, says "I have another matter at noon." Lawyer: If transaction occurred by debit card, there's no damage to the bank, a sine quo non of bank fraud.

 Defense lawyer: The banks received a lot of money for these transactions. There was no harm to them. Judge Rakoff: What you're saying is that when they deceived the banks, all they cheated the banks out of was some policy the banks wanted to adhere to

AUSA: It is not clear that the bank fraud statue is a prosecutor's Stradivarius. In the recent case of Attila, harm is a not a factor. The cheating in this case is obtaining the bank's own money through pretense. The analysis can end right there

Judge Rakoff: Let me hear from co-defendant's counsel.

William Burck of Quinn Emmanuel for Akhavan: There has to be a risk of loss to the bank for bank fraud.

Judge Rakoff: I was surprised that no one referred to the civil RICO cases that have address this issue

 Judge Rakoff: There was a case in the 5th Circuit, [or the 11th], after an airline takeover, to avoid unionization, the public was told that Continental Airlines was not as safe as Eastern had been. The allegation was that the pilot deceived the public

AUSA (sounds like Dimase) - these are more like Rule 29 motions, arguments about Visa and Master Card, let the jury decide. The indictment is sufficient.

Judge Rakoff: I have read your briefs. And I have other matters today.

AUSA: Conflating loss and harm is a mistake

Judge Rakoff: Let's turn to the motions to suppress. 

Weigand's lawyer: The warrants didn't allege that the devices seized were being used for the scheme.

Judge Rakoff: I'd like to hear from the government.

AUSA Nicholas Folly: We only had to show probability... The evidence in the affidavit came from the cell phone of the cooperating witness.  

Judge Rakoff: I'll issue an omnibus ruling by the end of August; trial now set for January.

 Weigand since he has money, unlike many SDNY defendants, on April 28 already had high powered lawyers from Wilson Sonsini. On April 28 they demanded a bill of particulars. 

  Judge Rakoff pushed back, setting a tight schedule for that: May 12, May 18 and he'll rule by May 20.

  But these high powered lawyers have a grueling trial schedule for other clients, from the Central District of California and elsewhere.

So Judge Rakoff agreed to a trial in December 2020, to be finished before Christmas. Inner City Press will cover it. The case is US v. Weigand, 20-cr-188 (Rakoff). 


Your support means a lot. As little as $5 a month helps keep us going and grants you access to exclusive bonus material on our Patreon page. Click here to become a patron.

Feedback: Editorial [at]
SDNY Press Room 480, front cubicle
500 Pearl Street, NY NY 10007 USA

Mail: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2021 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for