Too Little, Too Late for Defense Argument?


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit is considering whether the government’s belated disclosure of potentially exculpatory evidence deprived criminal defendant Amit Mathur of a fair trial. The fact that Mathur’s counsel received some of the evidence after the government’s case in chief and declined to use it in Mathur’s defense makes it unlikely that Mathur will obtain the new trial he seeks.

Four years ago, Mathur was indicted on 18 counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud in connection with the operation of his hedge fund, Entrust Capital Management. During an 11-day trial, the prosecution presented evidence that Mathur presented his 15-member client base with promotional materials stating that Entrust managed approximately $105 million in assets for 300 investors and that the fund outperformed all the major stock market indices – neither of which was true. Additionally, the government proffered evidence that Mathur took $13.5 million from five investors and transferred the money to accounts that Mathur alone controlled. Checks signed by Mathur showed that over a third of the funds were transferred out of hedge fund accounts to pay Mathur’s personal expenses including, among other things, gifts to friends and relatives, real estate ventures, automobiles, trips to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, sporting events, jewelry, and travel. To corroborate the government’s documentary evidence, the government proffered testimony of five alleged victims, including testimony from Mathur’s biggest client, multi-millionaire David (“Duddie”) Massad.

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