Former hedge fund manager Jeffrey Martinovich won’t be allowed to defend himself while on appeal, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, even though he has now on his fourth lawyer in little more than year and is still unhappy with his current counsel.
“There is no constitutional right to self-representation on appeal … and given the complexity of the case, we deny Martinovich’s motions,” ruled the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, reports Peter Dujardin at the Daily Press.
Hedge fund manager Martinovich serving nearly 12 years in prison for fraud
Martinovich was convicted on 17 out of 25 counts of fraud last year and sentenced to 11 years and eight months in prison. The charges were mostly related to a privately held solar energy company that Martinovich had invested in and whose valuation he worked to artificially inflate so that his fund’s performance was higher than it should have been, also pushing up his performance fees. The fraud didn’t come to light until MICG Investment Management went under in 2010 and most of its clients took large losses, prompting authorities to look over the investment firm’s activities.
The jury also ended up deadlocked on some other issues, such as how Martinovich reported gambling winnings during his personal bankruptcy proceedings back in 2011.
Hedge fund manager Martinovich unhappy with court-appointed lawyers
After the trial, his lawyer James Broccoletti left the case saying that he couldn’t continue to represent Martinovich because he might have to provide testimony relating to MICG Investment Management in the future. After Martinovich’s ‘preferred counsel’ left, one court-appointed lawyer had to be removed from the case after it was discovered that his firm was also representing some of Martinovich’s former clients, creating a conflict of interest, and another was removed because Martinovich wasn’t convinced that he was up to the job.
Martinovich had been trying to get rid of his third court-appointed lawyer, arguing that no one else was as familiar with the details of the case as he was and that with his background (an MBA and his experience running his former investment firm) he was qualified to handle his own defense. The main appeal brief is due on October 17 and Martinovich can file his own pro se supplemental brief up until October 31.