Coin.MX Trial Ends Today | dinbits


Closing arguments were heard in the Manhattan trial of Pastor Trevon Gross and technology consultant Yuri Lebedev in respect to the no defunct bitcon exchange, Coin.MX.

Coin.MX Trial Defendant Charges

The two defendants in the Coin.MX trial and the charges they face are as follows:

DEFENDANT 1


Trevon Gross

Pastor

Former Chairman of the Board, HOPE FCU


Status: On Trial

Currently on trial. Accused of accepting over $150,000 in bribes as the Chairman of the Board of the credit union that served primarily low-income local residents in New Jersey.

Presented Defense: Trevon Gross claims the money he took was to benefit his church and he had no clue of the apparent suspicious activity or illegal operations of Coin.MX. He claims that everything was secretly done without his knowledge by Murgio. 

Defense Attorney: Gross is represented by Kristen Santillo and Henry Klingeman of Krovatin Klingeman LLC.

Trevon Gross charges:
  1. Receipt of commission for procuring loans (receipt of corrupt payments as an officer of a financial institution)
  2. Receipt of corrupt payments with intent to influence an officer of a financial institution
  3. Conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business; make & receive corrupt payments; obstruct an examination of a financial institution & make false statements
  4. Receipt of commission for procuring loans (receipt of corrupt as an officer of a financial institution)

DEFENDANT 2


Yuri Lebedev

Coin.MX consultant

Status: On TrialYuri, like Gross, is currently on trial. 

Presented Defense: Lebedev was an offsite consultant and claims he had no knowledge of, nor ability to obtain knowledge of, the illegal operations of Coin.MX. He was a hired consultant that worked offsite.

Defense Attorney: Lebedev is represented by Eric Creizman, Amanda Shoffel and Melissa Madrigal of Creizman PLLC.

Yuri Lebedev charges:
  1. Conspiracy to make corrupt payments (two counts)
  2. See #1 (2nd count)
  3. Conspiracy to make corrupt payments with intent to influence an officer of a financial institution
  4. Making corrupt payments with intent to influence an officer of a financial institution
  5. Conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business; make & receive corrupt payments; obstruct an examination of a financial institution & make false statements
  6. Receipt of commission for procuring loans (making corrupt payments with intent to influence and officer of a financial institution)
  7. Attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud & bank fraud
  8. Fraud by wire, radio, or television
  9. Bank fraud

Closing Arguments

Attorneys on both sides present their final remarks Thursday which should conclude Friday. The defense team on behalf of Trevon Gross maintains that their client is just an idiot who had no clue about what was going on and never intended to spend any funds on himself, rather to use the funds to help his church. The prosecution presented evidence pointing to Gross knowingly accepting bribes and spending the money on personal items.


Lebedev attorneys claim that their client was on outside and offsite consultant simple doing what his customer asked him to do. He states he had no knowledge of any illegal operations nor any ability to obtain such knowledge being offsite and out of the picture beyond technical consulting.

The prosecution claims both men knew what was going on and  especially in Gross's case, present some pretty convincing evidence o support the claims including email, chat sessions, receipts from expenditures, and other information throughout the four week trial that may have convinced the jury to convict Gross, Lebedev, or both men.

Possible Outcome

In the case of Trevon Gross, if the jury was paying attention, it's going to be hard for them to find Gross not-guilty in our educated opinion. This is for several reasons. First of all the prosecution presented some very strong evidence against Gross outlining he was most certainly involved in some way and at a minimum spend funds given to him on personal expenditures lending support to the bribery charge. 

The most probable guilty verdict will be the 1 count of Receipt of corrupt payments and possibly the 1 or more of the 2 counts of  Receipt of commission for procuring loans. Both charges brought on Gross as an officer of a financial institution. One of the biggest problems Gross has outside of the obvious evidence presented is the inability to claim "he didn't know" anything, which is his entire defense, because as an officer of a financial institution Gross is required by federal law to have trained annually on AML and BSA regulations. 

Under these regulations the "didn't know about it" defense doesn't hold allot of water given the fact that Gross should have been professionally trained to detect suspicious activity of which would have resulted in filing an SAR (suspicious activity report) that would have protected Gross against these charges. In saying he didn't know he is stating that he is negligent to the point the federal government could impose new charges and fines against Gross as a result.

Moreover, the jury is going to have to buy the fact that a professionally trained officer of a financial institution was so negligent that he didn't recognize something fishy was going on all the while spending copious amounts of funds on personal items and services received from Coin.MX and that is going to be difficult to sell to the jury in the final closing arguments today. 

Lebedev on the other hand is possibly the only Coin.MX affiliate with a legitimate defense that could land him a not guilty verdict and be free of all charges. He was an outside consultant and did not work directly for the organization. Furthermore he did not even work onsite at Coin.MX, rather he worked remotely offsite and did not have visibility of the organizations executive operations which would be questionable even had he worked onsite given the fact that he was a technical consultant and not a business consultant.

Federal Regualation

As far as the money transmission charges, they both will likely be found not guilty on these particular charges, neither individual owned or operated Coin.MX. Gross received proceeds from the illegal activity but may escape the charge given the fact that he was not directly affiliated. Federal regulation governing money transmission state the conditions considered a violation of federal law to be anyone who:
"...conducts, controls, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of an unlicensed money transmitting business..."

Which actually puts Lebedev at greater risk potentially since he may have been directly involved in the transactions that were identified as money transmission, however, it was not clear if he supervised or managed such transactions and that would not be a typical role for a consultant not working directly for an organization. 

Lebedev's only issue may well be making false statements, its going to be hard to uphold the position of an intelligent individual as a technology consultant and state he was completely oblivious to what was going on. He may have chosen to keep his mouth shut and might have made a few false statements to avoid conflict and that may lead to one guilty charge. This is the same charge Michael J. Murgio plead guilty to and is currently serving probation for.

Verdict Prediction

Note that his is only a prediction based on the evidence and fact of the case and ultimately the final verdict will be decided by the jury in the case.

Trevon Gross: 

  1. Guilty of corrupt payments receipt 
  2. Guilty of 2 counts of receipt of commission for procuring loans
  3. Not Guilty of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmission 

Yuri Lebedev:

  1. Not Guilty on either count of Conspiracy to make corrupt payments
  2. Not Guilty of Conspiracy to make corrupt payments with intent ...
  3. Not Guilty of Making corrupt payments with intent ...
  4. Not Guilty of Conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business 
  5. Not Guilty of Conspiracy to make & receive corrupt payments 
  6. Guilty of Conspiracy to obstruct an examination of a financial institution & false statements
  7. Not Guilty of Receipt of commission for procuring loans
  8. Not Guilty of Attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud & bank fraud
  9. Not Guilty of Fraud by wire, radio, or television
  10. Not Guilty of Bank fraud

It's certainly not up to us, it's up to the jury of Gross and Lebedev peers to decide the verdict. So this may well be way off, however, if the jury was paying attention to what facts of the case were presented, then the above outcome is a very possible verdict. 

The Coin.MX trial concludes today. For an in-depth analysis of the trial, charges, and parties involved, read the trial analysis. 

Coin.MX Trial Analysis



Article by dinbits
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