Ex-Hedge Funder Mark Nordlicht Bail Revocation for Intimidation is Reversed

The Eastern District of New York’s attempt to jail Mark Nordlicht, of now defunct Platinum Partners, for the remaining of his hedge fund fraud trial has failed. Today at the end of trial, U.S. District Judge Cogan reversed his decision to revoke Nordlicht’s bond, which sent him to Brooklyn’s rough jailhouse last night known as MDC. The bail hearing centered around Nordlicht yelling at one of the female prosecutors during a break in trial over her ethics in what the judge said was a move to intimidate her.

The conflict started on Thursday after AUSA Lauren Elbert put Mr Gulkowitz on the stand, an investor in the fund, to finger Nordlicht on some of the DOJ charges, which involve inflating assets to earn more fees, possible fraudulent conveyance in a bond deal, wire fraud and conspiracy. Nordlicht’s legal team has contended in court filings that Gulkowitz would give misleading or false testimony on the stand and the DOJ knows there could be evidence from investor calls to prove this. Nordlicht told Ms. Elbert while walking by her in the hallway that she had “no fucking morals” and his wife had to briefly hold him back from getting to physically close to the prosecutor. It’s the physical movement the judge called “lunging at attorney Elbert” that drove him to send Nordlicht to jail last night. Nordlicht put down $500,000 in cash on his $5 million bond to remain free since his arrest in last 2016.

The prosecution submitted to Judge Cogan two videos of the hallway incident with the motion to revoke Nordlicht’s bond. At the hearing the judge said this could be a he-said she-said situation but since there was video he felt there was a clear record of Nordlicht lunging at the prosecutor. The video was not shown in court where at least six members of the press were attending including this reporter. A group of news publications have filed a letter with the court now demanding the video be released to the public. The letter said “there is a presumption of press and public access under the constitution and New York common law to open judicial proceedings”. The letter argued since the judge stated he made his decision off the video than it should be made public. {I support this letter and if the video is release I will publish it here.) The judge issued an order to the parties in the litigation that they have till May 13 to file any opposition to the press request.

Judge Cogan did say the DOJ could file additional charges against Nordlicht for the hallway event. What that would actually be is unclear since Nordlicht did not use threatening language, physically touch or or have any kind of weapon near her body. The war of words expressing opinion could amount to nothing more than a misdemeanor harassment charge. The DOJ would need an additional judge to sign off on allowing that kind of charge to go forward. If it did that could trigger an automatic bail violation which would put his freedom at risk.

Nordlicht had written a letter to the court apologizing for his behavior the day after the event but his lawyer, famed Jose Baez, said in open court yesterday he instructed his client not to apologize directly to Ms. Elbert. In a 15 minute hearing on Monday Judge Cogan asked attorney Baez three times if he was trying to justify his clients behavior. Baez said in his argument that the lawyers in the case were all being hypocritical because at one point they have all ‘lost their cool’. Judge Cogan has had to reprimand the DOJ lawyers and Nordlicht’s lawyers in this case for questionable legal tactics and strategy.

Judge Cogan did note he felt Nordlicht had been at the ‘boiling point’ throughout the 2 weeks of trial and has been ‘fulminating with rage’ to point that it made him believe Nordlicht meant the female prosecutor ‘no good’. I attended the hearing yesterday where Nordlicht had a dozen family and friend attending. His 80-year old mother Barbra Nordlicht told me she was “sad by the judges decision but also mad.” Mrs Nordlicht said her son isn’t a violent man but it feels like he was treated like one.

“I have had cases with the Mafia and Mexican hit man in my court and I have never seen them act this way,” said Judge Cogan right before he ordered U.S. Marshals to take Nordlicht to jail. Judge Cogan ruled on the El Chopo case.

I have previously reported how Nordlicht exposed how the lawyers at the Eastern District of New York were using journalist at Bloomberg to get stories out about a possible criminal case against Nordlicht and executives at his near 2 billion dollar hedge fund called Platinum Partners before the DOJ ever brought their case. Court filings show Nordlicht thinks it’s these early actions by the DOJ that rushed his investors to redeem from the fund and force it into bankruptcy. There were other investigative stories warning about problems of at the fund before the Bloomberg stories started that could have also drawn the attention of Nordlicht’s investors.

The DOJ’s aggressive call for Nordlicht’s bond to be revoked reads like a pissing match spiked with a hint of vengeance because Nordlicht has been very public about possible judicial misconduct in the case. He even tried to back it up by obtaining internal DOJ emails from the prosecutor, Winston Paes, who brought the case . Paes is not at a big law private practice law firm. The misconduct claim is not allowed to be presented as defense evidence in the trail though because the judge ruled that it has nothing to do with the securities fraud at the heart of the DOJ’s case.

Nordlicht’s charges could mean up to 20 years in jail and the trial is expected to take two months. Nordlicht’s attorney Jose Baez is also currently representing Harvey Weinstein in his criminal case and previously represented Casey Anthony.

This story has been updated with the press request for the video


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  1. Nordlicht would probably get his assss kicked by that woman prosecutor

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