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Armitage fraud trial postponed to August

  • Gary Armitage (PD FILE, 2010)

A Redding judge delayed for a third time the fraud trial of former Healdsburg investment adviser Gary Armitage.

Armitage, founder of the now defunct Santa Rosa investment firm AGA Financial, and co-defendant James Koenig of Redding were scheduled to be tried March 15 in Shasta County Superior Court.

Judge Bradley Boeckman on Tuesday set a new trial date for Aug. 9.

The two men face dozens of counts of financial fraud and burglary stemming from an alleged real estate Ponzi scheme. The state Attorney General's Office claims the men cheated more than 2,000 investors, many of them senior citizens, out of more than $200 million.

Both men remain in custody in lieu of a $5 million bail. They have been in jail since their arrests in May 2009.

The judge granted the postponement requested by Armitage's new attorney, James Askew, who cited the more than a million pages of evidence gathered in the case.

The trial, which was originally set for Nov. 9, is expected to last four months.

Armitage's previous attorney, Amy Babbits, stepped down in December after she returned to work for the Shasta County Public Defender's Office, which is representing Koenig. Conflict of interest rules prevent the same office from representing two criminal co-defendants, so Armitage was required to have a new attorney appointed.

- Kevin McCallum

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