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Briefcase

Alleged Conflict of Interest Prompts New Trial for Convicted Swindler

June 17, 1989

U.S. District Judge J. Spencer Letts granted a new trial Friday to a convicted boiler-room swindler because of an alleged conflict of interest by the man's former lawyer, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Thomas J. Umberg.

A new trial was ordered Oct. 10 for Vincent L. Caterino of Riverside, who was convicted March 10 on 22 count counts of mail fraud, conspiracy and wire fraud in a rare-coin scheme that allegedly took in $6 million.

According to Umberg, attorney David Wiechert filed a motion on behalf of Caterino, which accused John Stephen Elekes--Caterino's lawyer during the trial--of conflict of interest.

The motion, Umberg said, says that Elekes allegedly advised Caterino that his telemarketing business was legal after the firm, Marco Numismatics, was raided. During the trial, the motion said, Elekes dissuaded Caterino from testifying about the earlier advice. Umberg said Elekes also filed a motion denying the charges.

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