The EmpiresX trial for Joshua Nicholas is currently set for August 15.
The trial starts in ten days. That’s not a mistake.
After a motion to continue on August 2, it is now unclear if it will happen or not.
I wrote about the charges against EmpiresX on July 7th. I knew Nicholas was in Florida and that Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves had fled to Brazil, but I didn’t know what was going on with the other two.
Due to the sometimes confusing way Pacer keeps track of criminal cases, I didn’t realize I wasn’t keeping track of the whole docket until this morning.
Fixing that let them find out what was going on with the whole criminal case.
In EmpiresX, Nicholas’s job was to steal the identity of a registered broker and play “Master Trader.”
On June 30, Nicholas was charged with fraud because the DOJ said that EmpiresX was a $100 million Ponzi scheme.
On June 30, Nicholas was either taken into custody in Florida or turned himself in. On July 1, he went to court for the first time. A $50,000 bond was suggested, and his arraignment was set for July 15.
On July 8, there was going to be a Status Conference. Nicholas was given a Public Defender and used his right to remain silent and talk to a lawyer at the hearing.
The above-named defendant is exercising his right to remain silent and to be represented by a lawyer during any questioning or interrogation, no matter what the subject is. This includes, but is not limited to, matters that may be related to or affect an arrest, searches, and seizures, bail, pretrial release or detention, evidence at trial, guilt or innocence, forfeitures, or matters that may be relevant to sentencing, increased punishments, factors that apply under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, or matters that may
You can only talk to the defendant through his or her lawyer, the undersigned counsel.
At the hearing, Joshua’s bond was also talked about, and the judge added a curfew to the rules.
On July 8, 10% of Joshua’s bond was paid with a check that was certified as not coming from illegal activity. Joshua’s bond said that he had to stay home from 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. and that his location would be tracked.
Joshua was charged with wire fraud and securities fraud on July 15 and pleaded not guilty.
The court set August 15 as the date for Nicholas’ trial. On July 18, he was given a new Public Defender.
Finally, on August 2, a joint motion was filed to ask that Joshua’s trial be put off.
The parties want the trial to start again on May 1, 2023.
The government is ready to give the defense a large amount of discovery, which includes about 20,000 records, chat messages, cryptocurrency exchange and bank records, and other documents.
Also found were a lot of audio and video recordings that add up to dozens of hours of footage.
Due to the nature of the prosecution, including the charges in the indictment and a large amount of discovery given to the defendant, this case is so unusual and complicated that it is not reasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself within the time limits of the Speedy Trial Act.
From both sides’ points of view, Joshua’s EmpiresX case was too big to be ready for trial in two weeks.
Defendant thinks that if the request isn’t granted, he won’t be able to keep the same lawyer and get good representation.
The government has no problem with it going on.
At the time this was written, a decision had already been made on the motion. It would surprise me a lot if it didn’t happen by the 15th.
The date of May 2023 that was asked for is still up in the air.
Emerson Pires and Flavio Goncalves are co-defendants and co-founders of Empires. On August 1, the DOJ filed a notice to make the two fugitives.
I’m not sure what that means for sure, but I think it has something to do with making Pires and Goncalves officially wanted fugitives.
When Pires and Goncalves found out they were being looked into, they ran away to Brazil. Brazil does not extradite its citizens.
Change on August 6, 2022 – According to a court order from August 4, Joshua Nicholas’ trial has been moved to January 3, 2023.
Change on November 29, 2022 – Nicholas pleaded guilty, so on November 28 he was given a prison sentence of 51 months or 4.25 years.