Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Roundup

A weekly tab of what's going 
on in the courts.

By Logan Beck 
For BigTrial.net

New Jersey Attorney General:

On June 2, a Las Vegas man admitted to a $5 million fraud scheme, pleading guilty in Newark Federal Court to conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud. 

Lee Vaccaro, 44, of Las Vegas, Nevada served as the chief marketing officer and vice president of investor relations for a company based in California known as eAgency. Vaccaro used eAgency to sell investors interests in companies that he controlled.


Vaccaro, however, did not act alone.


According to the Department of Justice, Vaccaro and individual named as “Conspirator #1” worked together to falsely inform investors that the companies held warrants, a derivative security that gives the holder the right to purchase common stock at a specific price during a specified time range, in eAgency. 

The duo continued to defraud investors, culminating in over $5 million dollars in funds.


They worked together to show investors forged documents which were supposed to reflect the issuance of warrants to entities Vaccaro controlled, as well as a transfer of those warrants. Those transfers, according to Vaccaro, had never been made. 

The lies and deception ultimately caught up to both Vaccaro and Conspirator #1, as their crimes carry penalties of a maximum five years and $250,000 for conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and a maximum of 20 years in prison and $5 million for securities fraud.

Pennsylvania Attorney General:

Carissa Lee Vadala, a 19-year-old Mercer County resident, was arrested for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl, videotaping the abuse, and sending the videos to others.

Carissa Lee Vadal
The investigation of Vadala’s behavior began after the Oconee County Sheriff's Office in Walhalla, S.C. contacted the Office of the Attorney General. The office found a video of a woman sexually assaulting a young victim during a child pornography investigation.


Following these findings, investigators issued a search warrant of Vadala’s residence and confirmed that the woman in the video committing the assault was Vadala.


Now, Vadala resides in Mercer County Prison after failing to post $250,000 bail.


She is charged with two counts of aggravated indecent assault of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a child, production of child pornography, dissemination of child pornography, as well as sexual exploitation of children and indecent assault. Vadala is also charged with one count of corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, and criminal use of a communication facility.


Vadala’s hearing is tentatively scheduled for June 8, and her case will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Jessel A. Costa III of the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section.


U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania: 

Jerel “Jinx” Jackson, 30, of Southwest Philadelphia was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sex trafficking, after pleading guilty on March 18, 2015. He is charged with five counts of sex trafficking of minors and adults by force.

After he is freed, Jackson will also serve five years of supervised release.

Jackson often dated his victims before turning them out as prostitutes. He admits to forcing five women, two of which were minors, into sex slavery. His “business” was operated out of a series of Philadelphia hotels. According to Philly.com, he would strip-search the women or choke them to make sure they were handing over cash after each sexual encounter with a “customer.”

He also posted nude photos of each of the women online on websites such as backpage.com.


Orange County, NY District Attorney’s Office:

In New York, a murder trial that has consumed the citizens of Ulster County, continues with a series of emotionally-charged testimonies and cross-examinations.

Gilberto Nunez, 49, of Poughkeepsie, NY, was arrested in 2015 in connection with the death of Thomas Kolman, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. 

Kolman’s wife, Linda Kolman, and Nunez engaged in a rather public affair. According to Linda Kolman, her husband accepted their relationship, and even remained friends with Nunez despite the affair. 

Linda Kolman was allegedly going to end the affair between the two after the holidays in 2011, claiming that she determined she wanted to put her marriage back together. 

She told the prosecution, “At the same time,” she said, “I fell in love with [Nunez]. I was torn.”


Thomas Kolman. Photo by The Daily Freeman
On Nov. 29, 2011, Kolman was found dead in his car in a Planet Fitness parking lot. The prosecution argues that Nunez, a dentist in Kingston, NY, used a sedative known as midazolam to supposedly have Linda all to himself. The defense  argues that Nunez and Kolman were close friends, and that the affair did not interfere with their relationship, therefore leaving no motive for Nunez to allegedly kill Kolman.

A senior medical examiner, Dr. Yvonne Milewski, testified that Kolman’s death was in fact caused by a combination of midazolam and pre-existing health conditions. Kolman’s toxicology report determined that caffeine, an antidepressant, an antihistamine and ibuprofen were also found in his system.

As the trial continues, the county’s local newspaper The Daily Freeman will be live tweeting the daily proceedings.

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