A mammoth money laundering case involving the ex-prime minister of the Ukraine has been picked apart by the Ninth Circuit. The upshot: six counts dismissed, eight counts upheld, and remand for a new sentence.
The prosecution of Pavel Lazarenko was a big one in the Northern District. Before bolting for Jones Day, then-federal prosecutor Martha Boersch convinced the jury to convict Lazarenko, who received a nine year sentence. He is currently on release and living in San Francisco, pending appeal.
Both sides are claiming Judge Margaret McKeown’s opinion vindicates them. According to defense lawyers Doron Weinberg and Dennis Riordan, 45 of 53 counts originally indicted by the government have now been dismissed by either the circuit, or Judge Martin Jenkins at trial. The sentencing implications of the most recent dismissals are unclear, Riordan said, but the defense plans to ask for en banc rehearing of the remaining eight counts.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hartley West said the ruling (.pdf) upholds Lazerenko’s conviction in substantial part. “We are pleased but not surprised,” West said. “It means that Mr. Lazarenko has been held accountable for what he did.”
— Dan Levine