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On Ahuja & Shor SDNY Judge Mulls Plea Deal and Asks For Filings by March 31 Ex Parte OK

By Matthew Russell Lee Scope Photo Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE,  March 10 – In the US prosecution of Premium Point Investments hedge funders Anilesh Ahuja and Jeremy Shor, the government doggedly tried to show the jury the so-called sector spread and mid-bid mis-marking scams by which the two defendants allegedly overvalued their portfolios.

  Apparently it worked. But on April 2, the defendants filed a memo in support of their motion to dismiss the indictment or for a new trial, beginning: "The circumstances that have led to the filing of this motion are extraordinary. It has taken Rule 17(c) subpoenas and a post-trial FOIA request to unearth documents that were in the prosecutors’ possession and indisputably should have been disclosed to the defense before trial. Those documents, which never would have seen the light of day if the defendants had not resorted to these extraordinary forms of “self-help,” demonstrate beyond any reasonable dispute that the government: failed to disclose Brady and Giglio material before, during, and after trial; provided assurances to the Court that it had conducted specific searches of its communications when in fact the government either did not conduct those searches or was careless in doing so; and made representations, in response to questions from the Court (and on which the Court expressly relied) that were both incomplete and incorrect. If the prosecutors had conducted even the slightest inquiry to confirm the accuracy of those representations, it would have been apparent to them that those representations were not accurate. Even if unintentional and lacking in bad faith, the government’s reckless indifference to the defendants’ rights prejudiced the defendants and warrants dismissal of the Indictment or, at a minimum, a new trial." Full memo on Patreon here.

On December 17, 2021, Judge Failla held an in person proceeding and issued this: "the Court resolves certain post-conviction motions filed by Defendants Anilesh Ahuja and Jeremy Shor as follows: The Court denies that portion of Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Indictment or for a New Trial that sought to dismiss the Indictment. (Dkt. #446). With respect to that portion of the motion seeking a new trial, the Court states, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 37, that it would grant the motion for a new trial if the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit were to remand the case back to this Court for that purpose. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 37. The Court directs Defendants to promptly notify the Clerk of Court for the Second Circuit of this Order. See Fed. R. App. P. 12.1. Defendant Shor’s motion for monetary sanctions, made to preserve the issue for appellate review, is denied. (Dkt. #448). Defendant Ahuja’s motion for compassionate release is denied as moot. (See Dkt. #378). In addition to the pending motions resolved by this Order, the Court’s review of the docket of this case discloses several motions that are listed as pending despite having been resolved. Accordingly, the Court directs the Clerk Case 1:18-cr-00328-KPF Document 456 Filed 12/17/21 Page 1 of 2 2 of Court to terminate the motions at docket entries 51, 153, 157, 207, 321, 324, 366, 402, 445, 446, 448."

Then, "Defendants' joint motion for dismissal of the indictment is DENIED, and the Court issued an indicative ruling that it will grant the Defendants' joint motion for a new trial."

On December 28, this: "ORDER as to Anilesh Ahuja, Jeremy Shor: On December 17, 2021, the Court stated, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 37, that it would grant Defendants Anilesh Ahuja and Jeremy Shor's motion for a new trial if the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit were to remand the case back to this Court for that purpose. (Dkt. #456). On December 27, 2021, the Second Circuit remanded the case to this Court for the limited purpose of ruling on Defendants' motion for a new trial. (Dkt. #459). For the reasons set forth at the December 17, 2021 conference, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendants' motion for a new trial. (See Minute Entry for December 17, 2021). The parties are directed to submit a joint letter proposing the next steps in this case on or before January 14, 2022. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 12/28/2021)."

And later, this: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Anilesh Ahuja (1) granting [461] LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Justin S. Weddle dated December 28, 2021 re: FRAP 4(b) motion to extend deadline. ENDORSEMENT: Application GRANTED. For the reasons set forth above, Defendants' time to file a notice of appeal from the Court's December 17, 2021 Order denying the motion to dismiss the indictment is extended to January 31, 2022. The Clerk of Court is directed to terminate the motion at docket entry 461. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 12/28/2021)."

On March 10, this: "ORDER as to Anilesh Ahuja, Jeremy Shor: The Court recognizes the impropriety of involving itself in plea negotiations. See Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1) ("An attorney for the government and the defendant's attorney, or the defendant when proceeding pro se, may discuss and reach a plea agreement. The court must not participate in these discussions."). That said, it is loath to accept the plea offers on the record before it, both for the reasons discussed above and because of the potential impact on the sentencings of the various co-defendants. It may well be the case that circumstances have changed since the trial and sentencings in this matter changes to the quantum of evidence, the status of witnesses, prosecutive decisions regarding the allocation of scarce resources, or to the parties and their counsel. For this reason, the Court invites the parties to submit, in writing, any information that would assist the Court in its determination of whether to accept the proposed plea offers. Because such information may be sensitive in nature, the parties are authorized, if they wish, to file their submissions ex parte. Any party wishing to make such a submission shall do so on or before March 31, 2022." We aim to have more on this.

 On September 28, 2020, the US Attorney's Office asked to postpone Amin Majidi's sentencing for at least three months due to the "post-trial litigation" - "Re: United States v. Amin Majidi, 18 Cr. 328 (KPF) Dear Judge Failla: The Government respectfully writes to request that the date for Amin Majidi’s sentencing, which is currently scheduled for October 6, 2020, be adjourned... in order to defer the sentencing until after the completion of the post-trial litigation currently pending in this Court. Counsel for Mr. Majidi consents to this request. Respectfully submitted, AUDREY STRAUSS Attorney for the United States Acting Under Authority Conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515."

 Now on September 29, Majidi's sentencing has been pushed all the way back to February 10: "MEMO ENDORSEMENT as to Amin Majidi granting [407] CONSENT LETTER MOTION addressed to Judge Katherine Polk Failla from Max Nicholas dated September 28, 2020 re: Adjournment of Sentencing. ENDORSEMENT: Application GRANTED. The sentencing for defendant Amin Majidi, previously scheduled for October 6, 2020, is hereby ADJOURNED to February 10, 2021, at 3:00 p.m. in Courtroom 618 of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY. SO ORDERED."

  On August 5, the Second Circuit granted a motion to hold the appeals of Neil Ahuja and Jeremy Shor in abeyance pending Judge Failla's inquiry. Shor's counsel Justin Weddle filed that with Judge Failla asking to postpone surrender until the later of January 4, 2021 or 90 days after any motions Shor makes after the fact finding process.

 On July 24, Judge Failla held a proceeding. Inner City Press live tweeted it, below.

 Now on August 4, from Judge Failla, this: "The Court is in receipt of the Government's July 31, 2020 letter (Dkt. #393), and Ahuja's and Shor's  letter (Dkt. #395). The Court resolves the parties' dispute as follows: (i) the Government is ORDERED to expand its search to include the time period of June 10, 2020 to June 19, 2020, as requested by Ahuja and Shor; (ii) the Government is ORDERED to produce documents identified during its review that reflect any suggestion, instruction, direction or preference that any communication not be sent by email or otherwise put in writing, that a communication take place in-person or by telephone, or that a method of communication other than email be used; and (iii) Ahuja's and Shor's request for the Government to review internal communications from June 3 2019 to June 11, 2019 is DENIED, as the Government's granular searches outlined in pages 1-3 of its July 31, 2020 letter should produce any relevant documents from this time period. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Katherine Polk Failla on 8/4/2020)."

From July 24: Before Judge Failla, a push to get the type of US Attorney's Office internal chats that "recently came up in a case" - US v. Nejad, here..

  Back on July 11 the jury found both Ahuja and Shor guilty. This came after, on the 4th of July, Judge Katherine Polk Failla denied Shor's bid to introduce into evidence portions of the FBI Form 302 interview with James Nimberg. Or maybe it was the text message, introduced into evidence, in which Shor told Ashisha Dole and cooperating witness Majidi, "I’m done giving frank a BJ. Sorry to be crass boss. Back in 3."
We'll have more on this. The case is  US v. Ahuja, et al., 18-cr-328 (Failla)



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