Leyda Ada sentencing delayed

»Due to difficulties in hiring handwriting experts, voluminous materials

Due to the difficulties of securing forensic handwriting experts and voluminous materials, the federal court has delayed the trial of Leyda I. Ada, who is facing charges of conspiring with her husband in a health care and food stamp fraud.

At a status conference on Wednesday, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted Ada’s motion to postpone the trial date.

Manglona ordered that all persons previously summoned to appear as a witness in the case on Sept. 9, 2014, should instead appear on the new trial date of Oct. 6, 2014, at 10am.

The judge set the new trial date after finding about the large amount of new discovery in the case, as well as the unique difficulties in securing experts from the U.S. mainland to be present at trial.

Court-appointed counsel Mark Hanson asked to continue the trial due to voluminous new discovery and the need to secure a forensic handwriting expert to review documents.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe stated that if the defense is planning to call a handwriting expert, the prosecution will also need its own expert to respond.

Backe opposed the request to postpone the trial date, declaring that they are ready to proceed to trial on Sept. 9.

Ada pleaded not guilty to the second superseding indictment charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of money laundering, five counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, and one count of perjury.

The original indictment charged Ada and her husband, Melvin Ada, with 59 counts. Melvin Ada pleaded guilty to 56 charges and is now awaiting his sentencing.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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