New witness delays trial over bitcoin exchange tied to JPMorgan hack

Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:11pm EST
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trial of two men was delayed on Monday in a case stemming from a probe into a bitcoin exchange and a data breach at JPMorgan Chase & Co after prosecutors revealed a new witness.

Jury selection was set to begin in Manhattan federal court in the case of Yuri Lebedev, whom authorities call the architect of bitcoin exchange's platform, and Trevon Gross, a pastor and ex-chairman of a now-defunct credit union.

But U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan delayed jury selection until Tuesday after prosecutors said they had secured a new witness.

The witness, Philip Burgess, was represented by the law firm of one of Gross' lawyers in an unrelated tax case in which he was sentenced in 2010 to eight months in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Noble said Burgess, while "reporting another potential fraud" to prosecutors on Wednesday, revealed he had incriminating information stemming from his time as a potential investor in the credit union Gross headed.

But after spending the day discussing how to resolve the conflict of Gross and Burgess sharing the same law firm, Nathan ruled prosecutors could not call their eve-of-trial new witness.

"It is my conclusion that we will proceed tomorrow and the government may not call Mr. Burgess," she said.

Gross, 52, and Lebedev, 39, are among nine people who have been charged following an investigation connected to a breach JPMorgan disclosed in 2014 that exposed over 83 million accounts.   Continued...

A combination photo shows Trevon Gross (L) in New York on February 1, 2017, and Anthony Murgio (R) in a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office booking photo that was released on August 4, 2015. The two men were arrested in Florida on August 4, 2015. REUTERS/File Photos