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Ex-FOREX Trader Enters Not Guilty Plea in South Florida Federal Court

January 11, 2010

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In Tampa, Florida, ex-FOREX trader, Beau Diamond, now armed with a new legal team entered a not guilty plea to charges surrounding a $38 million "Ponzi" scheme. Diamond had been previously represented by a well-known Miami criminal lawyer, a federal public defender and a Tampa criminal lawyer before retaining a law firm out of Milwaukee. The federal court magistrate set the trial to beginning March 1, 2010. Diamond's new counsel complained of the short setting stating, "We've got $38 million in financial transactions, and 222 witnesses, all of whom we need to interview. "The magistrate told the lawyer to take it up with the federal judge presiding over the case.

Diamond has been detained since his arrest on September 1, 2009. Although, Diamond has sought bail at two previous bond hearings, both requests have been denied. Diamond's new lawyer did not immediately request bail to be set, but reserved his right to appear at a bond hearing on a future date. Diamond's lawyer has many years of federal trial experience and has represented the likes Wesley Snipes and the creator of Girls Gone Wild, both charged with tax evasion.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that Diamond ran a $38 million "Ponzi" scheme to defraud under the guise of a currency trading investment club. Although some of money was actually invested, others alleged that the majority of the funds were used to pay for his lavish lifestyle. Court records reveal that Diamond promised his investors a 2.5 to 5 percent monthly return on their investment. The indictment alleges that Diamond sought out new investors to make the interest payment to older investors. Some of the counts allege that Diamond transferred money out of bank accounts to pay for his automobile, condominium and trips to Las Vega and Costa Rica.

Diamond is currently facing 18 criminal counts. The charges include wire fraud, mail fraud, illegal money transactions and transportation of stolen property. If Diamond actually opts to go to trial, he is facing between 10 to 20 years for each count charged by federal prosecutors. Previously, it was believed that Diamond and the Tampa criminal lawyer were in negotiations to work out a plea deal. The terms of the deal have not been made public. Apparently, the plea deal offered by the government carried significant prison time because negotiations broke down and Diamond hired his new criminal defense team. Based on the allegations, significant losses and number of witnesses, a plea deal appears imminent. Only time will tell. However, if Diamond is going to try to save himself from significant incarceration he may have to provide information to federal investigators regarding co-conspirators.

Sarasota's beau Diamond Pleads Not Guilty; Trial Is Set, Herald Tribune, December 8, 2010.
Categories: Fraud
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