Alleged Florida Swindler, Arthur Nadel, Given Continuance to Find New Representation

<"">Arthur Nadel

has been given 30 days to find a new attorney. According to CNBC, the accused Ponzi schemer was granted the 30-day continuance after a federal judge refused to allow him access to some of his frozen assets so that he could pay his criminal attorneys.

Nadel owed the Florida law firm that had been representing him in his criminal case more than $93,000. Earlier this month, the firm had asked U.S. District Judge Richard Lazzara to unfreeze $250,000 worth of Nadel’s assets to pay his current and future legal bills. In return, the firm had offered to represent him for a “deeply discounted” rate. The firm had hinted that it would drop Nadel as a client if the assets were not released.

But Judge Lazzara refused, saying that doing so would be a “gross abuse of my discretion.” If necessary, Lazzara said, Nadel could be represented by court-appointed counsel.

Under the continuance, prosecutors will have until April 29 to either get a guilty plea from Nadel, or to get an indictment. The continuance will allow Nadel to find new representation while allowing the new legal team to “review certain pre-indictment discovery.”

Arthur Nadel was president of Scoop Management Inc., which managed six private investment funds. He disappeared on January 14, a day before he was to deliver a $50 million payout to investors. He left his family a purported suicide note, but it was always suspected that Nadel was alive and on the run.

Nadel turned himself in to the FBI in Tampa two weeks later. His was charged with one count each of securities fraud and wire fraud, and his case was moved to federal court in Manhattan. Nadel is in jail, having been unable to meet the conditions of a $5 million bond. If convicted, Nadel could face a maximum of 20 years in prison on each charge.

Nadel’s fraud is estimated to have cost his investors as much as $397 million.

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