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The criminal trial for Joshua Nicholas’ EmpiresX is now set for August 15.

There was no error; the trial is in 10 days.

After a move to continue on August 2, whether it proceeds is currently in doubt.

I wrote about the EmpiresX charges back on July 7. The only thing I knew about the co-defendants Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves’ present whereabouts was that Nicholas was in Florida and they had fled to Brazil.

I didn’t know I wasn’t following the entire docket until just now because of the occasionally baffling manner Pacer monitors criminal cases.

Correcting that prompted an update on the status of the overall criminal case.

In EmpiresX, Nicholas’ job was to pretend to be a licensed broker and assume the position of “Master Trader.”

The DOJ filed an indictment against Nicholas on June 30th, claiming that EmpiresX was a $100 million Ponzi scam.

On June 30th, Nicholas was either apprehended or turned himself in in Florida. His first court appearance took place on July 1st, leading to a recommendation for a $50,000 bail and an arraignment date of July 15th.

A Status Conference was slated to take place on July 8. Nicholas was given a public defender and exercised his right to silence and representation during the hearing.

The aforementioned defendant hereby asserts his right to remain silent and to a legal representative about any questioning or interrogation, regardless of the topic, including, but not limited to, issues that may affect or relate to an arrest, searches and seizures, bail, pretrial release or detention, trial evidence, guilt or innocence, forfeitures, or that may be relevant to sentencing, enhanced punishments, or factors under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Any communications with the defendant must go through the defendant’s lawyers, the undersigned.

During the hearing, the judge added a curfew to the restrictions imposed on Joshua’s release.

Joshua’s bail was posted on July 8th (10 percent via check, certified not the proceeds of illegal conduct). Joshua’s bail included a home curfew (11 pm to 6 am) and location tracking.

Joshua entered a not guilty plea to one count of wire fraud and one count of securities fraud on July 15.

The trial for Nicholas was set on August 15th by the court. On July 18, a new Public Defender was assigned to him.

Finally, a joint motion asking for a postponement of Joshua’s trial was submitted on August 2.

The trial date would be moved by the parties to May 1, 2023.

A sizable amount of discovery from the government, including about 20,000 records, chat conversations, a bitcoin exchange, and bank data, and other documents, is ready to be provided to the defense.

The find also includes several audio and video recordings that together amount to dozens of hours of content.

This case is so unique and complicated due to the prosecution’s strategy, including the charges in the indictment and the extensive discovery provided to the defendant, that it is unreasonable to anticipate adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself within the Speedy Trial Act time constraints.

In essence, Joshua’s EmpiresX case was too complex to put up for trial in a fortnight, which was a problem for both parties.

In the defendant’s view, refusing to grant the continuance will prevent him from having consistent legal representation.

The continuation is not opposed by the government.

The motion has received a decision as of the time of publishing. If it isn’t approved by the 15th, I’d be quite shocked.

It remains to be seen if the desired May 2023 date will stand.

The DOJ issued a notice to transfer co-defendants and Empires co-founders Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves to fugitive status on August 1.

I’m not entirely sure what that implies, but I assume it has something to do with the procedure for formally designating Pires and Goncalves as sought fugitives.

Pires and Goncalves fled to Brazil after finding out they were being investigated. Brazilian nationals are not extradited.

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