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In SDNY Iranian Banker Sadr Gets Many Emails Suppressed Wants Other Returned

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 8 – Iranian banker Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, charged with money laundering and violating US sanctions including through a Venezuelan infrastructure project, has his case being pushed forward by lawyer Reid Weingarten of Steptoe & Johnson and, on November 25 by Brian M. Heberlig before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Alison J. Nathan.

   Heberlig argued at length for the suppression and return of emails seized, saying that looking for emails about money laundering was too broad. He insisted that his clients project in Venezuela was pure business, and that the government should have have been looking into his trips to Iran.

  As a civil libertarian, the arguments were attractive. In a courthouse where less affluent defendants are processed through in much different ways, less so.

  The government has two weeks to go page by page through their May 2018 420 PDFs; the defense got the same two weeks to pick out their seven or so worst examples of overreach. Two senior AUSA who sat through most of the argument left before Heberlig's final barrage. For those keeping score, the government ceded most ground in this hearing. Meanwhile in the Magistrates Court on less fancy crimes they are requesting detention in nearly every case. Inner City Press will have more on this.

   At the earlier Curcio hearing while adding prior Steptoe clients Citibank, UBS and Commerzbank to Steptoe's script, Nathan found the Sadr knowingly waived all conflicts of interest.

  Then a surprise: Assistant US Attorney Michael K. Krouse acknowledged that yet to be turned over are e-mails from seven custodian other than Sadr, somehow lost in the cracks of the case. Judge Nathan gave Krouse a week to provide a status update, with full production to be completed in two weeks and a response by Steptoe a week after that. They will be seeking to exclude these e-mails.

  On the bracelet removal request, Judge Nathan said she saw no reason to do it. Weingarten replied that Pre-Trial favors it, and that he wants to meet with Sadr until midnight. The government's position will be known in a week and more from Steptoe if the government opposes either. It's good to have money, in essence. This is not how lower income defendants are often treated in the SDNY. The case is USA v. Nejad,  18-cr-00224 (Nathan). More on Patreon here.

The most recent arguments were in a conference on August 15 before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York courtroom of Judge Alison J. Nathan.

  Hasheminejad's lawyer Brian M. Heberlig said he can't begin a trial for months since he also represents Huawei. His fellow Steptoe & Johnson lawyer Reid Weingarten made a point of saying that he too had a trial, now tragically canceled. He was referring to Jeffrey Epstein - although minutes later when asked a question about Epstein by the elevators he said, I can't believe you're asking me that. Who raised it? You can't have it both ways - except in the SDNY.

 The case was re-assigned to Judge Nathan because Judge Andrew Carter recused himself due to JPMorgan Chase connections. That should disqualify Steptoe as well, as they may have to cross examine JPMC which is also their client.

  A so-called Curcio hearing is scheduled on the issue for September 9 at 10 am. The trial is tentatively scheduled for January 2020 but that, of course, depends on Huawei if no longer on Jeffrey Epstein. Who else might they represent? More on Patreon, here. Watch this site.

Also in front of Judge Nathan on July 30, before Robert Pizarro was given his pre-ordained sentence of life plus 14 years after being convicted by a jury of kidnapping and killing a Federal informant, he turned to friends and family of the victim to told then, I didn't do it.

 Judge Nathan. She told Pizarro to turn and face her, and said she understand that he will appeal. And why not? Life plus 14 years is a long time.

  The government's sentencing submission recited how Pizarro and his co-defendant Juan Rivera staked out the Bronx auto body shop of Robert Bishun, intent on robbing the narcotics proceeds they were convinced he had. (In fact, the government says, "by the time of his murder, Bishun had not only ceased dealing drugs, but he had become a cooperating witness with federal authorities."

   After losing at trial, Pizarro fired his lawyers and was assigned a new one, Mark DeMarco. On July 30 DeMarco asked, given the mandatory minimums of life and seven years, what he was supposed to say. Just prepare the appeal is the answer. The case is US v. Pizarro, 17-cr-151 (AJN).



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