Australian Celeb Faces Contempt Charges in Florida

An embittered lawsuit between American businessmen and a former doctor from Australia has resulted in a contempt of court charge in Florida. The criminal charges involve court cases between the parties over an estimated $18 million in investments. One description labeled him as a “serial con artist.”

The former physician supposedly put the funds into a fashion business where his wife modeled. A judge wants him to explain why he shouldn’t be held in contempt because he supposedly attempted to control Ohio property by using an Australian business. The attorney for the Australian explained that they are challenging the description of his client and want the allegations withdrawn. He also added that the initial legal disagreement that started the whole lawsuit has now been resolved.

The former doctor has a previous criminal charge from 1990; he received a 12-month jail sentence when he allegedly hired a hitman. The attorney for the other party compared the former physician to the infamous Bernie Madoff, who ran the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history. He added that the man showed blatant disregard for the court’s rulings. The judge found enough evidence to hold the former physician in indirect contempt of court.

The Australian formerly complained about free speech in the case when he alleged that his former partner was slandering him with embarrassing information. The former doctor wants to ban everyone involved from talking to the press and wanted to keep the controversy inside of the courtroom.

Someone from another country might not understand all the nuances of criminal law in the U.S. A criminal defense lawyer might be able to negotiate a plea agreement for clients.

Source: The Australian, “Geoffrey Edelsten is back in US court in bid to gag Rafael Mawardi from talking to media,” Paul Toohey, Dec. 3, 2012

Source: The Age, “Geoffrey Edelsten accused of criminal contempt of court in Florida“, Ben Butler, September 23, 2013


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