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In SDNY Crypo Currency Case Reginald Fowler Began Pleading To Single Count Stopped Now Trial April 28

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Jan 17 – A Arizona based crypto-currency maven Reginald Fowler, with multiple accounts with the HSBC, appeared to plead guilty on January 15 to a single count, "operation of an unlicensed money transmittal business." He acknowledged the section of the law to which he was pleading guilty to violating: 18 US Code Section 1960. Yes, he said.

  Judge Carter said, We are here for a change of plea, and there was no objection. But then:  No sentencing date, no agreement on restitution; plea begun, but then fell apart. Fowler did not object when Judge Carter said, we are here for change of not guilty to guilty plea.

 In fact, Judge Carter repeatedly asked Fowler, do you understand the elements of the charge you are pleading guilty to? This after Assistant US Attorney Sebastian Swett added the section of the law under which such businesses must be registered: 31 US Code Section 5330. Yes, was Fowler's answer. And that he is 60 years old and has a Masters Degree.

   But then it all fell apart... 

 What is clear is that the US Attorney's Office is / was willing to drop three of the four counts. And now it goes forward - on all four counts?

"Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr.: Pretrial Conference as to (19-Cr-254-01) Reginald Fowler held on 1/17/2020. Defendant Reginald Fowler appears with attorneys James Mc Govern and Nat Rosenblum. AUSA Jessica Fender, AUSA Sebastian Swett and AUSA Samuel Rothschild for the Government. Joint Status Report due 1/31/20. Motions in Limine Due: 4/14/20. Responses Due: 4/21/20. Voir Dire & Proposed Jury Instructions Due: 4/14/20. Final Pre-Trial Conference 4/27/20 at 12:00 p.m. Jury Selection & Trial 4/28/20 at 9:30 a.m. Time excluded from 1/17/20 to 4/28/20 in the interest of justice. All bail conditions remain in effect. See transcript for complete details. Court Reporter: Raquel Robles."

Fowler "Change of
                                            Plea Proceeding" Jan
                                            17, 2020 PACER

 Back on May 15 Fowler had entered not guilty pleas to four felony counts on in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York courtroom of Judge Andrew L. Carter. 

   While the indictment, initially under seal, refers to Bank-1, the forfeiture allegations specify two HSBC Bank USA Accounts including 141000147, an HSBC Security USA account and two HSBC Securities USA / Pershing LLC accounts. Given the Justice Department's history with HSBC, for example on the bank's money laundering for drug gangs, some wonder why HSBC was not indicted. This is a case Inner City Press will continue to follow, through sentencing and beyond.


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