NEW YORK, Sept 24 Former money manager Alberto
Vilar's co-defendant, Gary Tanaka, plans to seek a new lawyer
after prosecutors said he may be in a romantic relationship with
a lawyer who has been representing both men as they prepare to
be resentenced for fraud.
On Friday, federal prosecutors said Tanaka's apparent
"intimate, romantic relationship" with lawyer Vivian Shevitz,
could create a conflict of interest and impair her duty of
loyalty to Vilar, also known as an arts patron.
In a letter dated Monday to U.S. District Judge Richard
Sullivan in Manhattan, Shevitz said that while she is willing to
represent both men, "Mr. Tanaka prefers that the court appoint
another lawyer for him to help shoulder some of the load."
She also said the defendants understood what prosecutors
called her "personal relationship" with Tanaka, 70, and any real
or theoretical conflicts it created.
"The personal 'relationship' between us is not germane to
the situation at hand except to the extent it affects both
clients," she said. "Both (clients) are fully aware of the
'conflict-producing' circumstances of any septuagenarian (I am
69 years old) relationship that has developed."
Vilar and Tanaka were convicted in 2008 for having promised
clients at Amerindo Investment Advisors high returns in
seemingly safe "deposit" accounts, only to lose millions of
dollars in technology stocks.
On Aug. 30, a federal appeals court in New York upheld the
convictions, but ordered that the men be resentenced because
their punishments, including prison time, were based in part on
transactions that should not have counted.
The case is U.S. v. Vilar et al, U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York, No. 05-cr-00621.