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HomeNewsLocal newsBarnes Complains of Another Lawyer in Casino Commission Case

Barnes Complains of Another Lawyer in Casino Commission Case

The woman awaiting sentencing for a 2019 Casino Control Commission scandal has again complained about her lawyer, claiming inadequate legal representation.

Stephanie Barnes wrote District Court Chief Judge Robert A. Molloy on Oct. 22, saying her new layer, Miquel Oppenheimer, didn’t have the materials needed to represent her and was in no hurry to get them.

Her sentencing has been delayed indefinitely since she fired her last lawyer. She claims to have no money to pay a lawyer and depends on free legal counsel.

Barnes was convicted of criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen government funds, and filing false tax returns on Dec. 23. She contracted with former Casino Control Commission Director Violet Anne Golden to conduct gambling addiction seminars, although she had no credentials or experience in doing such work.

“Attorney Oppenheimer has demonstrated a lack of vigor in my case and he, himself, has expressed he has limited experience and knowledge in the laws required to provide assistance to defendants in white-collar cases,” Barnes wrote from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico.

Golden pleaded guilty to theft of $295,503 in government funds and failing to file income tax returns in January 2020 and was sentenced to two years in prison in August of that year.

According to court records, Golden and Barnes spent the money intended for agency operations on lavish trips, clothing, entertainment, and other unapproved items after Golden hired Barnes in 2015 to develop programs for people with gambling addictions.

After her early release, Golden testified against Barnes.

Barnes and her attorney have filed several motions delaying the sentencing, which was originally scheduled for April 20, including requests for a new trial and that the judge recuse himself. Barnes’ previous attorneys have sought to step away, saying she hasn’t paid fees due.

The case has been beset by numerous delays, with sentencing rescheduled from April 20 to May 19, to May 31, to Aug. 8, and now delayed indefinitely, according to the court docket.

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