“Bank of Ireland employees are a far cry from crucial witnesses”, says defendant in OneCoin case

Maria Nikolova

“This trial is not about the convenience of these bankers”, says Mark Scott who is accused of aiding and abetting fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin.

Shortly after the United States Government asked the New York Southern District Court to allow the testimony of several Bank of Ireland employees via CCTV in the case against fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin and a number of individuals linked to the scheme, one of the defendants – Mark Scott, has voiced his opposition to the Government’s motion.

Let’s recall that, on September 29, 2019, the United States Government submitted a Motion with the Court asking to offer the testimony of four witnesses during trial via two-way closed-circuit television from a remote location in the Republic of Ireland. The witnesses are all present or former employees of the Bank of Ireland, where Mark Scott maintained corporate bank accounts through which he is alleged to have laundered over $300 million in OneCoin fraud proceeds, accomplished through, among other means, misrepresentations made by the defendant to the witnesses.

Mark Scott opposes the Government’s Motion arguing that the request for a deposition comes far too late. Further, he notes that the Government asks the Court to use a rare procedure “heretofore reserved for mobsters and terrorists”.

Scott says that “these Bank of Ireland (“BOI”) employees are a far cry from the crucial witnesses the Government makes them out to be. Indeed, two of the four witnesses the Government asserts are vital to proving Mr. Scott lied to the Bank of Ireland have never met or spoken to him”.

Further, according to Scott, the proposed depositions would impermissibly hamper his ability to prepare for trial, while the CCTV alternative would impermissibly interfere with his right to confront the witnesses against him. The CCTV alternative, Scott argues, would deprive him of his right to confront the witnesses against him in open court entirely.

“The (CCTV – Ed.) procedure to date has been used only to accommodate mobsters in witness protection and Al Qaeda operatives, not bankers from the European Union who for unspecified personal reasons would simply prefer to avoid the inconvenience of appearing”, Scott says.

”This trial is not about the convenience of these bankers or any other witnesses”, Scott notes.

Perhaps due to its emotional density, Scott’s response to the Government’s motion does not make it clear whether he opposes the Bank of Ireland employees testifying at trial, or the proposal to use CCTV for the testimony.

At trial, the Government will try to show that the defendant laundered approximately $400 million of proceeds from OneCoin through a series of purported private equity funds registered in the British Virgin Islands with accounts at banks located in the Cayman Islands (the so-called “Fenero Funds”).

The Government will also seek to establish that Scott transferred a significant portion of the funds to related bank accounts at the Bank of Ireland (BOI) in the Republic of Ireland. At trial, the Government will present evidence of misrepresentations made to banks, including BOI, and fund administrators by Scott and his co-conspirators in connection with the transfer of funds, in order to disguise the fact that the funds were derived from the OneCoin scheme.

The trial of Scott is currently scheduled to begin on November 4, 2019.

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