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by Mike Caswell
Andrew Hackett, the Toronto man convicted in the United States for the pump-and-dump of Arias Intel Corp., has asked for a new trial. He claims that he did not receive a fair hearing, with prosecutors failing to disclose material that would have been favourable to his defence. For their part, prosecutors say that the evidence of his crime was overwhelming.
The request from Mr. Hackett comes about six months after a federal jury convicted him for the fraud. Prosecutors claimed that he and others, including a Vancouver man named Kuldeep Sidhu, were behind a scheme to boost Arias Intel through a boiler room and a website called TheMoneyStreet. The evidence against Mr. Hackett included testimony of the boiler room operator as well as text messages in which he and others agreed on a target price for the stock.
Mr. Hackett, however, says that the evidence was far from complete. In a motion filed on March 28, 2022, he claims that prosecutors left out portions of text messages and phone calls captured by an undercover agent that would have helped his case. He says that the missing material was particularly harmful, as the only people who could have refuted the evidence of the agent were not available to testify. (The potential witnesses he is referring to are Mr. Sidhu and two other defendants, Vikram Khanna and Annetta Budhu. Mr. Khanna died before trial, and the other two refused to testify, invoking their Fifth Amendment privilege, the motion states.)
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