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在新的法庭提交中,西雅图企业家艾米尼尔森和丈夫的律师们认为,她的薪资和收入是由政府不公平地持有的,作为联邦调查局缉获的一部分来自其银行账户超过892,000美元。

The case is one of several disputes stemming from allegations that Nelson’s husband, former Amazon real estate transaction manager Carl Nelson, conspired with a colleague and others to receive millions of dollars in kickbacks in exchange for directing Amazon Web Services data center deals to a Colorado real estate developer,as detailed in a GeekWire story last week

Carl Nelson denies claims that he and a coworker duped Amazon into working with the developer in exchange for bribes. His lawyers say broad allowances for outside work in his Amazon employment contract gave him leeway to do business with Amazon clients and customers.

In addition to being a defendant in a civil suit filed by Amazon, Carl Nelson is one of the subjects of an FBI criminal investigation, court records show.

骑兵队首席执行官艾米尼尔森。(骑兵照片)

Amy Nelson是骑兵公司的首席执行官和创始人,骑师共同工作启动和女式网络,筹集了近2000万美元的资金plans to open as many as 100 locations by 2022。That was before the pandemic, which forced the company toclose all nine of its locations last year

她不是在亚马逊的民事诉讼中被命名。骑兵本身在任何法律程序中都不涉及或提及任何法律程序。纳尔逊的律师表示,政府尚未将艾米纳尔逊视为联邦调查局调查的目标或主题。

The Feb. 17 filingformally opposes a motion by the federal government to delay, for six months, court proceedings related to the seizure of the Nelsons’ bank accounts. Those seizures now amount to $633,916 after deducting money set aside for lawyers’ fees in the case.

“Based on the Government’s own representations, $475,892 of that money are not even purported fraud proceeds, but were seized because of potential commingling with money that the Nelsons earned from their jobs or investments,” lawyers for the Nelsons say in the filing.

Citing a delay in grand jury proceedings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Justiceasked the court on Feb. 3暂停民事没收。正义离开ment attorneys referenced a sealed declaration in which an FBI special agent indicated that the normal process of discovery in the forfeiture case “would have an adverse impact on a pending criminal investigation,” as the DOJ filing explained it, by publicly disclosing sensitive information.

“No indictment has been issued at this point, but the case is actively proceeding,” lawyers for the government wrote in the filing,” adding that “not all who may be implicated are aware that they are subjects of the investigation.”

In response, lawyers for Amy and Carl Nelson say in the filing that key details of the case have already been made public through Amazon’s lawsuit and news reports, citingreporting for GeekWire by journalist Levi Pulkkinen。The volume of publicly available information renders the government’s concerns largely moot or easily handled with customary redactions, they assert.

“We look forward to the opportunity to litigate the case and seek the return of the Nelsons’ money,” said Suneeta Hazra, a lawyer for the Nelsons, a partner at law firm Arnold & Porter in Denver and former chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.

In the meantime, the filing says, the seizure of the funds is having “a profound effect” on the Nelsons. They sold their Seattle home for $1.3 million in January, according to King County property records. They have been unable to pay their 2019 income tax bill, because the $125,000 they set aside for the purpose has been seized, according to the court filing.

In addition, the filing notes that “the extensive publicity regarding the proceedings involving Amazon and this forfeiture complaint has compromised the ability of both Mr. and Mrs. Nelson to earn a living and care for their large, young family.”

Rather than requesting a stay after starting the forfeiture case, they say, the government could have originally asked for a continuance, giving it more time to file the case in the first place.

“Here, it chose not to do so despite the incredibly harmful effect its naming of Amy Nelson in the caption of the complaint would have on her business and reputation,” the filing says. “Having made that choice, without consulting with the Nelsons’ attorneys or Mr. Nelson, the relief the Government seeks would give Mrs. Nelson no avenue to obtain even a scintilla of information to which she is entitled to under the discovery rules.”

The filing also provides details on how the criminal investigation has unfolded. It says Carl Nelson first learned about it on April 2, 2020, “when FBI agents arrived unannounced at his house in Seattle, in the middle of the pandemic, and informed him that he is the target of a federal investigation in the Eastern District of Virginia.”

The funds were seized on May 22, 2020, from six of the Nelsons’ bank accounts, the filing says.

“On June 5, the FBI again showed up unannounced to search the Nelsons’ home in the presence of Mr. Nelson, his wife, and their four daughters — then ages 5, 3, 2, and 9 months,” the filing says. “They stayed for less than an hour, during which they seized Mr. Nelson’s mobile phone, laptop, and various paper documents.”

对于艾米尼尔森的朋友和西雅图科技社区的成员密切关注她的创业旅程,对她丈夫的调查和诉讼的细节揭示了过去一年中经历的东西,帮助填补了空白她留下了社交媒体帖子,其中她暗示了法律纠缠。

“我可以给自己一年前没有建议,因为,就像你一样,你无法让今年,”她在12月的Instagram帖子中写道。“您的业务拥有100个令人惊叹的100队,并在月份上涨20%?你拥有你工作年份的家吗?你的丈夫有一个成功的咨询业务吗?你的孩子上学?您目前尚未在法律地狱塞?12个月,它会看起来真的不同。系好安全带。”

亚马逊alleges in court filings that Carl Nelson and his former Amazon real estate colleague, Casey Kirschner, engaged in outright fraud, not a side business, in receiving millions in payments from the real estate developer, Northstar Commercial Partners.

Northstar and its CEO Brian Watson “obtained all of their business with us by fraud, and specifically by paying bribes and kickbacks to corrupt insiders within our company,” said Elizabeth Papez, an attorney for Amazon, during a court hearing in January.

Carl Nelson has filed his own suit against Amazon in King County Superior Court in Seattle, alleging in part that the company has run afoul of Washington state’snew law restricting non-competition agreements。他的律师索赔亚马逊通过在弗吉尼亚州的联邦法院而不是华盛顿州法院违反了他的合同,而不是在协议中设定的地点。

The latest filing by the Nelsons’ lawyers says that Amazon initially based its civil suit on an employment agreement signed by another Amazon employee, not Nelson, with “an entirely different employment contract with different terms regarding outside income.”

亚马逊has since updated its complaint with the correct contract, but lawyers for the Nelsons assert in the filing that the company nonetheless “predicated a substantial portion of those initial allegations against Mr. Nelson — and presumably all of its initial discussions with the Government — on an employment contract that had nothing to (do) with him.”

该文件还提供了一瞥卡尔纳尔逊的法律防御,并指出“亚马逊建议尼尔森先生的行动构成了不公开的利益冲突,最高法院已明确持有并未获得资格honest services fraud,” which federal law defines as “a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.”

In its earlier filing in the forfeiture case, the government said that the seized funds represented proceeds not just from alleged honest-services wire fraud or a conspiracy to commit fraud, but also from alleged money laundering or unlawful monetary transactions.

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