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Ignition Switch Litigation Convict Christopher Hammatt Committed Suicide Nolle Prosequi

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 5 – Alongside the multi-district ignition switch litigation, Christopher Hammatt, Susan Hammatt, Edwin Tanglao and Joseph Hoats allegedly created a fictitious $16.5 million settlement agreement to get litigation funding from Funding Companies.  

On June 12, 2020 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul G. Gardephe held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

 The defendants were all out on bail. The US Attorney's Office says it will be seeking a superseding indictment, with more charges against Hoats.    Judge Gardephe said, I'm not going to set a trial date now, there's too much uncertain. No trails until the Fall, if then. But let's set a schedule for motions. Mr. Duboulay?   

 Donald D. Duboulay replied, The problem is traveling to meet my client. 

    Judge Gardephe proposed, Sixty days? 

   Duboulay said, I'd prefer more... 

But time is not infinite. On August 28, 2022, with Christopher Hammatt facing an October 13 sentencing date, duBoulay wrote to Judge Gardephe that his client had committed suicide. And on October 5, this: "NOLLE PROSEQUI ENTERED as to Christopher Hammatt. Christopher Hammatt (1) Count 1,2,4. (Signed by Judge Paul G. Gardephe on 10/5/2022)."

Back on January 29, Judge Gardephe held another proceeding, and Inner City Press again covered it. The defense was saying even an August trial would be too early.

The US filed its motions in limine, that "evidence of the investment fraud, the bankruptcy fraud and the SBLOC fraud is admissible." The defense countered that Count Four should be dismissed for lack of venue, and that Judge Gardephe should block evidence of "Oil-Victim 2."

On April 19, Susan Hammatt was sentenced by Judge Gardephe, and Inner City Press covered it. Her lawyer did not expect her to get prison time, and had no request for designation ready. But Judge Gardephe expressed outrage at intentionally false affidavits, saying the judicial system cannot function this way. The guidelines were 10 to 16 months; the defendant wanted time served, saying she cares for her incontinent father who, she says, abused her.

  After Judge Gardephe imposed a six month prison sentence to start on June 3, Susan Hammatt cried and asked for reconsideration. But six months it is.

On March 10, 2022, there was this: "ORDER as to Christopher Hammatt: The trial in this matter, currently scheduled to begin on April 11, 2022, is adjourned to May 9, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. This trial date is tentative, and depends on this District's COVID-19 protocols. A status conference will take place on April 11, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 705 of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, 40 Foley Square."

Jump to April 14, when Chris Hammatt appeared before Judge Gardephe to plead guilty. He said he is "always" under the care of a doctor, and described wires about litigation funding. The plea was accepted and sentencing set for July 26 at 2 pm.

Inner City Press will continue to cover this case.

The case is US v. Hammatt, 19-cr-67 (Gardephe). . 


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