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CAMDEN: If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the impending sentencing hearing for Ashley Lacerda (who recently requested a new attorney), there will be no such event on March 24 after all so you can let your breath out. It’s going to take a while longer.
Charles H. Nugent, Jr., Esquire, counsel for Ashley Lacerda, has requested two things from Judge Noel Hillman: A continuance of the March 24, 2015 sentencing hearing and a lifting of the separation order. (The separation order refers to the court order prohibiting any contact between Ashley Lacerda and co-defendant Ian Resnick.)
Nugent cited in his request for a continuance his need for more time to review a CD containing supporting materials for the 327 victims, which U.S. Attorney R. David Walk sent on January 26, 2015. Walk also sent him a supplemental CD on March 6, 2015, with additional supporting materials for a few of those victims and supporting materials for an additional 47 victims, most of whom came to the State’s attention after they had prepared their Pre-sentencing Report.
In a letter to Judge Hillman, Walk conceded to the request for a continuance of 60 days but added this caveat:
“Because counsel will have ample time to review these documents and respond to a PSR provided in 2014, the government will oppose any future continuance requests absent extraordinary circumstances. When Ashley Lacerda and Adam Lacerda are sentenced, nearly two years will have passed since the verdict. Hundreds of victims are awaiting some measure of justice, which will only come when the defendants are sentenced and restitution is awarded. The victims should not have to wait any longer.”
His take on the lifting of the separation order took another path entirely, though. He wrote:
“Ashley Lacerda also has requested that the Court lift the separation order barring her from communicating with codefendant Ian Resnick. The government opposes this request. At trial, the Court barred Adam Lacerda, Ashley Lacerda, and Resnick from contacting each other, except through counsel, after Resnick made a clandestine attempt during trial to pass Ashley Lacerda a note outlining a plan to sabotage the trial. (Separation Order, 8/22/13, docket entry 311) The separation order also relied on the Court’s finding, based on evidence presented at trial, of probable cause to believe that Adam Lacerda, Ashley Lacerda, and Ian Resnick conspired to tamper with witnesses. (Id.)
“After trial, the Court reiterated that “Ashley Lacerda is [not] permitted to communicate in any manner whatsoever with defendant Ian Resnick, except through counsel,” when the Court lifted the separation order to allow communications between Adam and Ashley Lacerda, husband and wife with family issues. (Order, 10/16/13, docket entry 347) As a result, the current request’s only effect would be to allow Ashley Lacerda to communicate with Resnick. Given their extensive record of conspiring to tamper with witnesses and obstruct justice, and given that the Court soon will convene sentencing hearings, the Court should not allow them to communicate except through counsel. The proffered justification for lifting the order is that they want to communicate about sentencing and appellate issues, but they can communicate about those issues through counsel. The separation order should remain in place.”
The judge has agreed to both the continuance and to keeping the separation order in place.
In addition, Ian Resnick’s attorney has also requested a 60-day continuance of his sentencing date, citing the same reason: He is in the process of reviewing a second CD with additional information regarding the victims.
So as of this date, the sentencing dates for Adam and Ashley Lacerda, who founded the VO Group and VO Financial, and for Ian Resnick have not yet been set but will probably be at some date in the vicinity of May 2015 or later.
Sentencing for Genevieve Manzoni, who was found guilty of only one count and is the only one of the four main defendants to have remained free on bail, is still set for April 10, 2015 at 10:30 AM in Camden – Courtroom 3A before Judge Noel L. Hillman.
BTW, a while back I received a curious email that said only this:
I remember the day Ian started working at VO… he looked Ryan Bird dead in the eyes and said “this all better be legal… you better not be lying to me… I don’t want to rip people off”… and Bird said “dude… I swear… nothing illegal, we’re not wyndham”
Assuming that statement is true, court documents indicate that it didn’t take him long to fall in with the crooked crowd. What do you think?
ICYDK, Ryan Bird (a/k/a “Chris Jackson,” a/k/a “Matthew Bross,”) pleaded guilty in June 2013 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. He also admitted to collecting unemployment compensation benefits while working at the VO Group and pleaded guilty to a count charging him with applying for and collecting $18,104 in unemployment compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.
As for the rest of the defendants who pleaded guilty to various counts of fraud in this case and are awaiting news of their fate — stay tuned.
And click here to see ALL of the Lacerda et al/VO Group scam information.
“If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” -Alice Roosevelt Longworth
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