Lawyers for a former NFL player standing trial over allegations of illegal digital currency dealings have withdrawn representations, according to documents submitted to the court this week.
Former player and football league investor Reginald Fowler saw his legal team submit a motion to U.S. Southern District Court of New York withdrawing their representation in the case, with no official reason stated due to client privilege.
The motion cites Local Civil Rule 1.4, which allows legal representatives to appeal to the court for withdrawal of representation for a “satisfactory reason.”
The lawyers requested additional time for the case to proceed to allow new representation to study the case, with knock-on impacts on various upcoming court deadlines. According to the text of the document submitted to court, Fowler was aware of the decision, and had been informed of the intent to withdraw since February of this year.
Fowler is in court on charges related to “shadow banking,” providing unlawful services to cryptocurrency exchanges. He is charged alongside another individual, Ravid Yosef, who has not yet been detained by the authorities.
The duo are alleged to have opened accounts at a number of banks, ostensibly to handle banking business from property transactions. In reality, it is alleged they were offering to hold deposits on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges, many of whom are currently underserved by mainstream commercial banks.
Fowler’s company, Crypto Capital, is also implicated in the loss of $850 million in digital currency which went missing from Bitfinex back in 2019.
According to reports in October, Fowler was said to be considering reopening talks on a plea bargain over the charges raised in the case. He rejected a plea deal in February 2020 after learning that he’ll have to forfeit $371 million he held in 50 different bank accounts. It remains to be seen whether Fowler can secure new legal representation to proceed through the case.
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