Los Angeles — A California appeals court on Monday upheld a preliminary injunction barring the prosecution of lawyers Avo and the attorneys for the firm from seeking to have the trial of their clients postponed.
A California appellate court panel on Monday rejected a request from attorneys for Avo, which is based in Los Angeles, to have their trial postponed for at least a year in the case of a San Diego attorney charged with fraud.
The attorneys filed a motion with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angelos on Monday to have a trial delayed indefinitely after a federal appeals court last month ruled that a judge in Los Alamos, New Mexico, should not consider delaying the trial.
The Los Angeles court ruled that the defendants did not present sufficient evidence to support the trial delay, and that the trial would continue as scheduled.
It was the first time in the appellate history that a court in the Southern District of California had granted a preliminary stay of proceedings in a criminal case involving a former employee at a Los Alamo law firm.
Avo has been in the headlines since April for its alleged role in the defrauding of the state of more than $1 billion through the purchase of $25 million in public contracts, including the $15 million in contracts it awarded to the state for a new school.
The defense argues that the firm acted as an intermediary between Avo officials and former Gov.
Pete Wilson, who was then a lieutenant governor.
Wilson’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the appellate court’s ruling.
Avos was founded by former hedge fund manager Martin Feldstein, who is accused of fraudulently purchasing public contracts with $15 billion in taxpayer money in 2015 and 2016.
He is also facing a corruption and tax evasion trial in New York.