A former Nixon Peabody securities partner who was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a $22 million Ponzi scheme is asking to remain free on bail pending his appeal.
David Tamman is scheduled to surrender to federal authorities on Dec. 2. Tamman, who appealed his conviction and sentence on Sept. 30, made his bail request last month. U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez is scheduled to hear his arguments on Tuesday.
In court documents, Tamman maintained that he posed no flight risk since he lives with his elderly parents in Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors argued otherwise, noting that his uncle, who lives overseas, has been paying his legal costs.
“He has no job, no house, no money, and no ability to practice law,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron May wrote. “On the other hand, he has a benefactor overseas.”
Tamman’s attorney, David Duncan, a partner at Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein in Boston, said that should Gutierrez deny bail, he plans to appeal that decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
On Sept. 23, Gutierrez rejected Tamman’s request to serve three years and one month, citing his obstruction of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and the fact that he lied during his bench trial last year. Tamman was convicted of 10 counts including obstruction of justice, altering records in a federal investigation and being an accessory after the fact to the fraud.
For his appeal, Tamman has retained Alan Dershowitz, the civil liberties professor at Harvard Law School. Tamman is expected to raise a range of issues, including that he might have been under the influence of prescription medications when he agreed to waive a jury trial, according to court records. He also plans to challenge Gutierrez’s decisions on certain expert testimony at trial.
His former client in the Ponzi scheme, John Farahi, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors, primarily from the Iranian-American Jewish population in Los Angeles, by convincing them to purchase corporate bonds purportedly backed by the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Farahi used the money to buy a yacht and Beverly Hills mansion. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
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