State dismisses, to refile charges against Ellen Lester |

State dismisses, to refile charges against Ellen Lester

Ellen Lester

California Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell has dismissed all charges against Ellen Lester, the wife of Gold Country Lenders CEO Philip Lester, with plans to refile.

A preliminary hearing into the evidence against Lester was vacated Tuesday morning, after Kress announced she would dismiss two felony counts of conspiracy and securities fraud against her.

Lester's three co-defendants — husband Philip Lester, Susan Laferte and Jonathan Blinder — are still facing prosecution pursuant to allegations that Gold Country Lenders engaged in a pattern of theft and fraud for over eight years, bilking investors of more than $2.3 million.

Philip Lester and Laferte have been charged with 66 felony counts of elder abuse, securities fraud and conspiracy, and Blinder has been charged with four felony counts of securities fraud.

For more on the story, check back with The Union.

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

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