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    Wednesday, November 20, 2019-3:19:17A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Food stamp fraud trial may be pushed to 2020

HAGÅTÑA (The Guam Daily Post) — The trial in federal court for two people who allegedly made $560,000 in fraudulent food stamp transactions could be pushed to next year.

Basiano Joysa appeared before Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan Jr. in the District Court of Guam on Wednesday for a status hearing.

Click to enlarge
Basiano Joysa and Hilaria T. Willy enter the District Court of Guam for a status hearing in their case on Aug. 15 in the District Court of Guam in Hagåtña.  Photo by David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Defense attorney Joshua Walsh, who was recently appointed to the case, asked that the trial be pushed to next year to give him time to prepare and review evidence in the case.

“We are not ready for a trial in 2019,” Walsh said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marvic David had no objections to the delay.

Joysa is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 13 for a status hearing.

Unauthorized use of benefits

Joysa along with co-defendant, Hilaria Willy, are charged with wire fraud and unauthorized use of food stamp benefits. Joysa owned and operated Angarap Fish Mart in Dededo.

The defendants also are accused of having been engaged in illegal transactions with people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to fraudulently obtain the monetary value of SNAP benefits, court documents state.

The alleged incidents occurred between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 1, 2013.

The defendants currently await word on motions they submitted regarding the selection of a jury for trial.

During a hearing held in August, defense attorneys asked whether their clients are getting fair representation when it comes to selecting the jury pool for trial.

The defense argued that its clients, who are both from Chuuk, have a constitutional right to be tried by a jury of their peers, and that bias against Chuukese could result in discrimination.

The lawyers asked the court to produce appropriate jury-impaneling documents that prove efforts have been made to ensure all members of the community are being represented.