Eminiano Reodica’s alleged victims say he stole millions of dollars and then fled Queensland and California.
An accused con man dubbed “Brisbane’s Bernie Madoff” is facing such an unusual and complex fraud case in the US his legal team and prosecutors have joined forces to ask a Los Angeles judge to push back his trial date.
Alleged victims in Australia and the US say the charismatic Eminiano “Jun” Reodica wreaked financial havoc, illegally pocketing millions of dollars and then fleeing both countries.
His Queensland victims claim Reodica, using the alias Roberto Coscolluela, duped them out of between $A5 and $A7 million via a Ponzi scheme he ran from tax, insurance and investment businesses from the early 1990s to 2012.
However, the 69-year-old may never appear in an Australian court.
US prosecutors have filed 51 charges against Reodica alleging bank fraud and false statements on loan applications dating back to when he lived in LA and ran one of America’s largest Chevrolet sales empires until fleeing the US in 1988.
He allegedly defrauded about $US70 million, and if convicted faces a maximum 30-year jail sentence.
Reodica has been locked up in a downtown Los Angeles jail since his arrest at LA International Airport on November 28, 2012, after stepping off a flight from Brisbane.
He was planning to fly to Canada, but US authorities swooped on him during his stopover after a fingerprint check at the airport immigration checkpoint revealed he was a US fugitive.
Reodica’s first trial was scheduled for January 29, 2013, but there have been eight requests for adjournments after Reodica hired new lawyers and because of the complex nature of the 26-year-old case.
Reodica was set to go to trial on November 4, 2014, but prosecutors and Reodica’s lawyer asked the judge on Wednesday to push it back again to November 12.
The case involves 5600 pages of written interview reports and documents, 35 boxes of bank and business records and civil litigation depositions and 14,000 scanned records from Reodica’s bankruptcies.
“This case is so unusual and so complex that it is unreasonable to expect adequate preparation for pretrial proceedings or for the trial itself,” prosecutors and Reodica’s lawyer, Richard Callahan, wrote in a US District Court filing.