Infinity Q Founder’s Request To Delay Fraud Trial Denied
A federal judge has denied a request by Infinity Q founder and former CIO James Velissaris for a six-month postponement of his upcoming trial on multiple charges of criminal fraud and obstruction of justice.
Velissaris also wanted an order requiring the Justice Department to provide additional pre-trial documents as well as a document known as a brief, a request also denied by Judge Denise Côté.
Côté’s refusal on Sunday of the requested delay was not accompanied by any explanation. The trial remains on track to begin on November 28.
Those legal demands were made in late June and were challenged last Friday by attorneys for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in a series of written motions.
They followed conference calls and email exchanges between Velissaris’ defense team and lawyers for the government, which has charged Velissaris with multiple counts of fraud for allegedly misrepresenting asset values and strategic positions, and covertly manipulating computer code, as well as two counts related to alleged obstruction. of Justice.
Authorities have accused Velissaris of generating nearly $27 million in profits from the scheme. Velissaris, a 37-year-old man who lives in Atlanta, pleaded not guilty in February.
He remains restricted to travel to a limited number of states, including Georgia, New York, New Jersey and Nevada, and he was required to post a co-signed bond of $3 million secured by $2 million in cash or cash. goods.
The arguments made by Velissaris come about four months after he was indicted by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which investigated the criminal side of his case with the FBI. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission launched parallel civil investigations into Velissaris’ conduct between 2018 and early 2021.
“In some cases, the changes had the effect of creating not only false but mathematically impossible assessments,” according to the original indictment from the U.S. attorney’s office. They also accused him of falsifying records, lying to an accountant and conspiring to obstruct the SEC investigation; the SEC referral in January 2021 marked the start of the criminal case.
The SEC alleged that in March 2020, around the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Velissaris knew its funds were “at risk of failing,” prompting it to seek a $100 million cash loan from companies. anonymous affiliates of a co-owner of Infinity Q
This loan never materialized, and the SEC alleged that as a result, “Velissaris intensified its manipulations – not only inflating the value of the funds, but attracting new funds from investors, with the fund raising nearly $1 billion in net inflows from March 2020 through December 2020, according to Morningstar data.
Without admitting any guilt, Velissaris’ lawyers insisted they would need more time to complete the “labor and time-intensive” process of obtaining accurate historical information from Bloomberg, which created and maintains the pricing tool that Velissaris allegedly abused.
Velissaris has changed law firms twice and is now represented by Arnold and Porter.
The defense, citing correspondence with the prosecution that it released as part of the court’s public record, pointed to a December data request from federal authorities that government attorneys admitted took Bloomberg three to four months to complete. .
The defense team also argued that the data produced by the prosecution to date represents “a very small biased sample” of Infinity Q’s past financial data, while questioning whether the prosecution may not have – be unsuccessful in accurately preserving archival information given Bloomberg’s design. pricing tool.
“Mr. Velissaris’ position is that the properly performed analysis will undermine the indictment’s allegations that he once acted with intent to defraud or took improper steps to carve out his own nest,” defense attorneys wrote in their motion. “And Mr. Velissaris is entitled to sufficient time to obtain and analyze the information necessary to fully defend himself against these unfounded allegations.”
Prosecutors countered that they quickly provided the defense team with the required documents, including data received through requests to Bloomberg, and noted that there were almost six months left before the start of the trial.
“There are no gaping holes in government production that
would require more time to rectify, and the defendant has not shown why any additional analysis takes more than five months to complete,’ prosecutors wrote.
Velissaris did not respond to a request for an interview or comment before publication.