Motion to postpone Lester, Laferte trial continued 1 week |

Motion to postpone Lester, Laferte trial continued 1 week

A hearing on a motion requesting a postponement of the fraud trial of Gold Country Lenders CEO Philip Lester and CFO Susan Laferte has been rescheduled for Valentine's Day.

Greg Klein, Laferte's court-appointed attorney, filed the motion requesting the trial, which was scheduled to start April 9, be postponed.

The hearing had been set for Thursday morning in Nevada County Superior Court, but state Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell was unable to attend.

Lester's court-appointed attorney, Ken Tribby, joined in the motion for postponement, and Judge Candace Heidelberger set a new hearing for 1 p.m. Feb. 14.

Laferte and Lester were indicted in mid-January by a criminal grand jury for allegedly defrauding investors of millions of dollars over a period of eight years. They already had been facing more than 60 felony counts of elder abuse, securities fraud and conspiracy, which had been filed in September by Krell. The grand jury indictment supersedes the original complaint against those two defendants.

In his motion, Klein said the trial date selected by Krell was "completely unrealistic" to mount an effective defense, adding that the Attorney General's office had been investigating Gold County Lenders since March 2009 and citing a half-million pages of discovery.

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Co-defendant Jonathan Blinder still faces four felony counts of securities fraud, and his preliminary hearing remains set for March 12.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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