Jury selection in Gold Country Lenders trial enters second week | TheUnion.com

Jury selection in Gold Country Lenders trial enters second week

Jury selection in the Gold Country Lenders trial got under way last week, and continued on into a second week Tuesday.

The fraud case against the company’s CEO, Phil Lester, and CFO, Susan Laferte, has been slowly making its way through the court system since their September 2012 arrest.

Lester and Laferte allegedly defrauded investors of millions of dollars over a period of eight years; they each face charges of using a scheme to defraud, offering securities for sale by means of an untrue statement or omission of a material fact, and fraud from an elder adult.

The state has calculated the maximum potential sentence for the defendants at 73 years in prison.

The case is being prosecuted by California Deputy Attorney General Randy Mailman, and the co-defendants are being represented by Nevada City attorney Greg Klein and El Dorado Hills attorney Mary Beth Acton, who were appointed by the court.

Multiple “panels” of prospective jurors have been summoned to Dept. 6 in the Nevada County courthouse to fill out questionnaires.

The attorneys were slated to begin the process of winnowing them out Tuesday afternoon, a process that could go on for several days.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Candace Heidelberger, who is presiding over the trial, told jurors the trial could last eight weeks or more; it was not clear whether the trial will actually begin this week, since it is slated for Tuesdays through Thursdays.

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