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For Stealing $3 Million in Bar Works Ponzi Scheme Gata Aura Gets 48 Months in SDNY

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 27 – Savraj Gata-Aura was involved in the Bar Works Ponzi scheme of selling shared-work spaces to retail investors, stealing some $3 million in the process.

He pled guity with a sentencing range of 97 to 121 months, but counted on defense lawyer Randy Zelin to get him less.

   On July 27 in a rare in-person sentencing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York which Inner City Press attended, he got 48 months. Here was some of the blow by blow: 

Gata-Aura's lawyer Zelin says he's asking for time served because he will be removed to UK, alone.

He cites SDNY Judge Rakoff's decision on inside trader Millul. 

AUSA Vladislav Vainberg cites the big loss figure: $40 million. 

Judge Rakoff says the learned Zelin has not convinced him to grant time served because of removal to UK. He says this was pure greed, and that just punishment requires 48 months in prison. 

 There was more: in the gallery were six people, supporters of the defendant. This was the same courtroom where Millul had argued, about deportation. But insider trading is different than ripping of retail investors of their life savings.

Some commented to Inner City Press that at least some time was given; others than people get more time for knocking over a liquor store.

This case is US v. Gata-Aura, 18-cr-759 (Rakoff)


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