In his filed Memorandum in support of post-trial motions, Mark Scott’s attorney claims Scott was ignorant of Gilbert Armenta’s conduct.
He also insists the DOJ failed to provide sufficient evidence of money laundering, despite a jury convicting Scott on all counts.
I’ve titled Scott’s defense as that of a dumbass, as that’s what his attorney is representing he is. Much like Konstantin Ignatov’s attorney referred to him as a “lunkhead”.
Despite co-conspiring with Gilbert Armenta to launder hundreds of millions of euros for OneCoin, Scott’s defense is he was ignorant of fraud – which he pegs on Armenta.
Gilbert Armenta, an alleged co-conspirator, provided his own banks with supposedly inaccurate information about why he, Armenta, was transferring his own money to the BVI-approved Fenero private equity funds managed through Mr. Scott.
There was no evidence whatsoever that Mr. Scott was aware of, much less agreed to, the making of these alleged misrepresentations, and substantial evidence of just the opposite: that Armenta went out of his way to deceive Mr. Scott about the funds he was investing in Fenero.
Part of the DOJ’s case relied on evidence of Scott lying to banks. Scott even went so far as to attempt to stop the DOJ from describing his lying as fraud.
But uh yeah, despite personally meeting with Ruja Ignatova, poor Scotty didn’t know OneCoin was the source of funds laundered through Fenero. It was all Gilbert Armenta.
Scott’s attorney also claims the DOJ
failed to prove that the monies invested in the Fenero Fund were proceeds of a domestic wire fraud scheme at all.
This argument is rooted in OneCoin being
run by people outside the United States and that its product was sold almost entirely to individuals outside the United States.
Such incidental ties to the United States are insufficient under the wire fraud statute, and without a U.S. wire fraud, the funds at issue are not subject to the money laundering statute at all.
Scott is a US citizen and was residing in the US while he was laundering funds for OneCoin. Shock horror that US authorities went after him hey.
Scott’s remaining arguments can be summed up as:
- the DOJ failed to prove funds invested by OneCoin US investors passed through Fenero;
- lack of evidence that Scott knew the 400 million was “from criminal sources”
- that Fenero Funds and all the other shell companies Scott set up were created to conceal the source of invested funds.
Yeah it kinda feels like if any of that was true, Scott wouldn’t have been convicted.
I feel like this sentence explains one of the core problems of Scott’s defense:
Mr. Scott repeatedly insisted that he believed OneCoin to be legitimate, a sentiment he repeated several times on a telephone call with Apex personnel that Apex secretly recorded.
There’s no doubt Scott lied to banks and financial institutions. After the fact though he’s claiming he believed what he was saying. “I was lied to!” if you will.
The thing is, in order to launder money Scott would have had to lie to banks and financial institutions (which he did).
Despite his representations, Scott wasn’t some dumbass off the street. He knew what he was doing and the DOJ’s submitted evidence reflected that.
Furthermore, the jury agreed.
To that end Scott’s attorney claims
the jury instructions on both the bank fraud and money laundering counts were wrong on key points, permitting the jury to convict Mr. Scott based on conduct that would not violate the statutes in question.
Mmmhmmm. Nevermind the same court Scott is appealing to signed off on said jury instructions.
If only there was a process by which defendants could file motions challenging proposed jury instructions.
Scott has asked the court for an acquittal, or in the alternative a new trial. Not really liking his chances but we’ll see how this plays out.
One interesting tidbit from Scott’s filing is the revelation the DOJ let Konstantin use OneCoin funds to pay his legal fees.
The Government recently disclosed – well after trial was over – that the Government apparently permitted Ignatov to use OneCoin-derived funds to pay over USD-equivalent $1.8 million in legal expenses, giving him added incentive to shade his testimony.
Not sure how I feel about that. It’s a lot of money but Konstantin’s testimony was certainly informative.
Mark Scott is currently scheduled to be sentenced on April 21st.
Our next update will probably cover the DOJ’s response to Scott’s filing. If it’s a rehash of arguments already presented in court though, I might just leave an update below.