Al Moriarty—a former Grover Beach financier accused of fraud, embezzlement, and orchestrating a massive “Ponzi-like” scheme—had an active day in court on Oct. 16.
Moriarty elected to dismiss his attorney, Tom Allen, and retained the services of Santa Maria-based attorney Scott Whitenack, whom Moriarty met when both men were in County Jail in September. Moriarty has been in jail since May 2013, but Whitenack was released on Oct. 11 after pleading no contest to two misdemeanors.
Moriarty also attempted to reduce his $5 million bail, a motion which Judge Jacquelyn Duffy had previously denied on June 12. Moriarty’s bail reduction hearing on Oct. 16 was presided over by Judge Barry LaBarbera.
Arguing for reducing Moriarty’s bail, Whitenack handed out a sympathetic poem titled “S … L … O … Justice (Al Moriarty Story)” written by Lowell Henslin, a fellow inmate, about Moriarty’s plight. Whitenack also argued that Moriarty, 80, had developed a painful hip condition and needed to look after his aging wife at home.
Ultimately, LaBarbera continued the bail reduction hearing until Oct. 24, when both Whitenack and the prosecution will be able to present their cases in further detail.