Second attorney quits on counterfeiter

COURT: In the District Court of Guam, shown in this file photo, convicted counterfeiter Michael Basilio Badar lost another court-appointed attorney in a hearing Tuesday. Post file photo

A man who pleaded guilty of producing counterfeit money in 2013, and rearrested in December 2019 for allegedly violating release conditions, found himself without a lawyer Tuesday morning, just as he was to enter a hearing in the District Court of Guam.   

Michael Basilio Badar was to appear for a hearing on the revocation of his release but his attorney, Jeffrey Moots, immediately asked to withdraw from the case. Moots said his client had made accusations against him, including working with the government, and that the relationship has deteriorated to the point of no longer being workable. 

Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan appeared frustrated with Badar over the loss of another court-appointed attorney. Prior to Moots, Assistant Federal Public Defender Leilani Lujan was appointed to represent Badar but also chose to withdraw.

Badar has a right to an attorney but he does not have the right to fire those attorneys unless he hired the attorney himself, Manibusan told the defendant. He did not want to go through the process of appointing another attorney only to see another withdrawal, the judge added. 

"Unless you know more than them in the law then I suggest you listen to them," Manibusan said.

This is also Badar's fourth revocation proceeding before the court. 

He was initially sentenced in 2014, to 14 months in prison with credit for time served and five years of supervised release thereafter.

The release period began on Oct. 28, 2015. 

The first revocation took place on June 5, 2017, for failure to report for drug testing, unlawful use of a controlled substance and failure to report to the probation officer. However, he was release again on June 8, 2017.

The second revocation was in September 2017 on drug-related charges. He was released in early January 2018.

The third revocation took place in July 2018, after Badar was arrested for aggravated assault, family violence, burglary, criminal mischief, terrorizing and home invasion. Badar was released again about a year later.

He is now charged with failing to report for drug testing on numerous occasions in late 2019, as well as failure to report to probation and failure to submit monthly supervision reports. 

Badar, who said he was having a hard time speaking during Tuesday's hearing, said he did not know about the requirements. 

The hearing was continued for another two weeks, to allow time for the new court-appointed attorney, Joaquin Arriola, time to review the case. 

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