New York - A federal jury convicted New Jersey pastor Trevon Gross and Florida tech consultant Yuri Lebedev on Friday on charges of aiding unlawful bitcoin-dollar exchanges and to obstruct a government investigation.

After five days of deliberation and one month of trial before U.S. District Judge Alison M. Nathan, both men who claimed "they knew nothing" have been found to have known everything.

Gross and Lebedev were found guilty of scheming with ex-president of Coin.MX, Anothony Murgio, and others take over the credit union Gross controlled, Hope FCU. Prosecutors were able to convince the jury that the two lied to the National Credit Union Administration (never lie to these guys, or your bank) when regulators began investigating Hope FCU's operations back in 2014.

Lebedev also was convicted of wire fraud, bank fraud and fraud conspiracy for leading banks to believe the operation wasn't dealing in bitcoin.

"Lebedev and others bribed Trevon Gross so they could have a captive credit union to process those transactions, undermining the credit union’s safety and solvency. Despite elaborate efforts to hide their schemes, the defendants’ conduct was exposed at trial and found for what they were, federal crimes,” Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim said in a statement.

Sentencing for the defendants is set for July 20th, 2017.

Defense Attorney Reaction

Lebedev counsel Eric Creizman said his client was a “marginal figure” in the scheme and that the trial had proven that. reported the same opinion recently. Creizman plans to make this a point during sentencing in hopes of a lighter sentence.

“On behalf of Pastor Gross, we will now seek a judgment of acquittal from the court and — if and when the time comes — a fair and lenient sentence,” his counsel Henry E. Klingeman of Krovatin Klingeman said.

Gross, as we previously stated, may not be so fortunate to receive any such leniency as it became overwhelmingly apparent over the course of the trial that a guilty verdict was probable.

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Article by dinbits
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