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After Insider Trader Bryan Cohen Gets Time Served Now Nikas Set for June 25 Sentencing

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon
Honduras - The Source - The Root - etc

SDNY COURTHOUSE, June 9 – Bryan Cohen, a Goldman Sachs banker charged with insider trading on January 7 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Inner City Press covered it, here.

  The US Attorney's Office did not publicize the proceeding or its 30 to 37 month plea deal, but Inner City Press was in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrates Court as the only media, and spoke afterward with Cohen's defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman. More on Patreon here.

  On June 9, Cohen and Brafman appeared for sentencing before Judge William H. Pauley III. Inner City Press live tweeted it, below.

  Now later on June 9, this on the related Nikas case: "ORDER as to Telemaque Lavidas: ORDERED that the defendant's sentencing is rescheduled to occur as a video/teleconference using the CourtCall platform on Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 11:00 am. Defense counsel will be given an opportunity to speak with the defendant by telephone for fifteen minutes before the sentencing proceeding begins (i.e., at 10:45 a.m.); defense counsel should make sure to answer the telephone number that was previously provided to Chambers at that time. (Sentencing set for 6/25/2020 at 11:00 AM before Judge Denise L. Cote) (Signed by Judge Denise L. Cote on 6/9/2020)." Watch this site.

While defense lawyer Ben Brafman was singing Cohen's praises, after a series of beeps the line went dead. Then:

 Judge Pauley is back. Brafman starts up again, Section 3553.

 Now the court reporter tells Brafman he's breaking up. Some say, Less is more. But Brafman's sentencing submission had 86 exhibits.

Brafman: There's no mandatory minimum.

 Brafman: Please do not introduce Mr. Cohen into the Bureau of Prisons, during COVID19 - he's an adult asthmatic. Suggests 8 months of home confinement. As he continues, we note that his Exhibit 76 is a French after school program brochure.

Brafman: A person like Cohen who is not a US citizen does not have the opportunity to go to a Federal prison camp where conditions are better. He'd have to go to "real prison."

Brafman: How about 2000 hours of community service in France? Exhibit 75 is from Centre Communal d'Action Sociale, Saint-Raphael: "Mr. Cohen also shared with me the status of his legal troubles with the US justice system."

 As Brafman is telling Judge Pauley, "I have long admired the Court," the court reporter got dropped from the call. Now she's back, and Brafman says, "He is not a danger to the community."

The Assistant US Attorney disagrees: "They used the tools of the drug trade for their insider trading - like burner phones, large sums of cash. This is not run of the mill white collar crime."

Brafman drops from call, then returns.

AUSA: Mr. Cohen and Mr. Demane continued into 2017. Cohen picked up another burner phone.

 Brafman: It was Demane who bought the burner phones. This is not like a drug case! Cites a Judge Kaplan sentence on an insider trading case, and other by Judge Marrero. 

Now Cohen says he never heard of Nikas until the indictment, that he stopped on his own.

Judge Pauley: Mr. Cohen abused a position of trust at the investment bank for which he worked. Adjusted offense level is 22. Minus 3 for acceptance of responsibility, so 19. Guideline is 30 to 37 months of imprisonment.  This Court rejects both sides' proposals.

Judge Pauley: There is a need for deterrence.  You are sentenced to time served and a year of supervised release in home detention with electronic monitoring, that you will pay for.... You will do 1500 hours of community service with the most deprived. 

That's it.

 The case is US v. Cohen, 19-cr-741 (Pauley).

  Back on January 6, the trial of Telemaque Lavidas began before Judge Denise Cote. Assistant US Attorney Daniel Tracer in a short opening statement described it as an open and cut case, which will include cooperating witness Marc Demane.

  Lavidas' lawyer John Streeter told that jury Demane is simply trying to reduce his sentence and has no first hand information. Here's some of how it went, live-tweeted here.

 Hours after the opening statements, the US Attorney office asked Judge Cote to ban discussion of how it conducted its investigation: "Based on the contents of defense counsel’s opening statement, the Government respectfully requests a ruling in limine precluding the defense from introducing evidence about investigative techniques that the Government employed during the course of the investigation. As set forth below, such evidence improperly suggests that the jury shift its attention from the charges against the defendant to the conduct of the investigation, and is irrelevant and misleading. 1. Background In opening statements, defense counsel on two separate occasions engaged in a recitation of the Government’s investigation and the various investigative steps that have been taken with respect both to this defendant and other individuals. For example, defense counsel said: The third thing is that you are going to learn that the government gathered millions and millions of e-mails and text messages and electronic devices, phones and computers and all kinds of evidence from this huge network of people who were engaging in insider trading – from Demane, from Nikas, from their whole network. And you are also going to learn that they gathered e-mails, and phones, and computers and all kinds of other evidence from Mr. Lavidas. (Tr. 32). Later in his opening, defense counsel returned to the same topic: The third thing that I mentioned is that the government has been investigating this case for years. They have collected millions of e-mails and text messages. And they have collected Mr. Lavidas’s phones, his iPad, his computer, his documents. They have collected a long list of phones, computers, disc drives from Mr. Nikas. They collected a long list of those same things from Mr. Demane. And they collected those same things secretly, for years, from Google and other companies where their e-mail accounts were.... The Government respectfully requests that the Court preclude the defendant from introducing evidence about investigative techniques that the Government employed during the course of the investigation."

  The US Attorney doesn't want the jury to hear about this. And the public? Inner City Press will continue to cover this case.


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