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Jury in Brooklyn Judge’s Trial Doesn’t Hear Info About Agent

Law360

03 Dec 2021

Carrie Cohen was featured in Law360’s coverage of the trial of Sylvia Ash, a former Municipal Credit Union (MCU) board member who is charged with lying to federal investigators during the government’s investigation of former MCU CEO Kam Wong, now incarcerated for embezzling $10 million.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said he would not allow Ms. Ash’s team to mention a disclosure by prosecutors that a government investigator – LaVale Jackson, now a “key witness” who will testify that Ms. Ash lied as the government investigated Mr. Wong – was a customer at MCU.

Carrie, who is defending Ms. Ash, called the recent disclosure of the MCU accounts “extremely prejudicial” and won a ruling from Judge Kaplan that prosecutors must quickly turn over more information related to the banking activity, but he rejected the request that trial openings be delayed until the defense can get more information about what Carrie saw as the agent’s potential bias.

“We don’t even have the facts, Your Honor, to do a cross-examination,” Carrie said.

In her opening statement, Carrie argued that though she may have made “mistakes,” Ms. Ash never lied. She conceded that Ms. Ash, while sitting on the MCU board, signed a document related to Mr. Wong’s compensation that turned out to be false. But, she said, that was because she trusted Mr. Wong.

“Wong duped Ms. Ash,” Carrie said. “He lied to everyone, all the time, including Ms. Ash.”

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