The trial of Joshua Nicholas, who is accused of involvement in the hacking of EmpiresX, is slated for August 15.
The trial begins in 10 days, and that is not a mistake.
After a request to continue was filed on August 2nd, it’s unclear if the project will move on.
On July 7th, I wrote on the EmpiresX indictments. Aside from Emerson and Flavio having fled to Brazil, I had no idea where Nicholas was or where his co-defendants Emerson and Flavio were.
It wasn’t until this morning that I realized I hadn’t been keeping up with all of the criminal cases on Pacer.
Taking care of that resulted in an update on the overall criminal investigation.
In empires, Nicholas’ job was to assume the guise of “Master Trader” by assuming the identity of a registered broker.
empires, according to the DOJ, was a $100 million Ponzi scam. Nicholas was charged on that charge on June 30th.
On the 30th of June, Nicholas was either apprehended or surrendered to authorities in Florida. The first appearance occurred on July 1, with a $50,000 bond suggestion and scheduled arraignment for July 15th.
It was set for July 8th for a Status Conference. Nicholas was represented by a Public Defender at the hearing, and he exercised his right to remain silent and to have legal counsel present.
Any questions or interrogations, regardless of subject, including but not limited to those about the arrest, searches, and seizures, bail, pre-trial release or detention, evidence at trial, guilt or innocence, forfeitures, or factors applicable unto sentencing, enhanced punishments, or other factors, are hereby objected to by the above-named defendant.
The only way to speak to the defendant directly is through his or her attorney, undersigned counsel.
During the hearing, the Judge examined Joshua’s bail and added a curfew to the already-imposed terms.
Joshua’s bail was posted on the 8th of July with a 10% cheque that was certified as not having been obtained via illicit means. The conditions of Joshua’s bail included a curfew of 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., as well as GPS tracking of his whereabouts.
Joshua pleaded not guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud each at his July 15th arraignment, according to court documents.
Nicholas’ trial was set for August 15th by the court. New Public Defenders were put in place for him on July 18.
In the end, a joint move to postpone Joshua’s trial was submitted on August 2nd.
A new trial date of May 1, 2023, is being sought by the parties.
Approximately 20,000 records, chat communications, a bitcoin exchange, and bank data, and other information are ready to be provided to the defense by the government.
As a result of the finding, there are dozens of hours of video and audio recordings.
It’s impossible to anticipate appropriate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself under the Speedy Trial Act time constraints given the case’s exceptional and complicated character, which includes the accusations laid out in the indictment and the extensive discovery provided to the defendant.
In other words, the EmpiresX case brought up by Joshua was just too complex for a two-week trial.
Defendant argues that denying him a continuance will jeopardize his ability to get sufficient legal counsel.
Continuing in this manner is not a problem for the authorities.
The motion had not yet been decided at the time of publishing. If it’s not given by the 15th, I’ll be shocked.
It remains to be seen if the desired date of May 2023 will be implemented.
On August 1st, the Department of Justice filed a notice to move co-defendants and Empires co-founders Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves to fugitive status.
To be honest, I’m not sure what that implies, but I assume it’s a step in the process of formally designating Pires and Goncalves as sought criminals.
Pires and Goncalves fled to Brazil when they learned they were under investigation. Brazil does not send its nationals to be deported.
This will be updated on August 6th, 2022. After being postponed to August 4th, the new date for Joshua Nicholas’ trial is now January 3rd, 2023.