The Sept. 18 trial date for two people who allegedly made $560,000 in fraudulent transactions has been taken off the federal court's calendar.
Basiano Joysa and Hilaria Willy appeared before Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood in the District Court of Guam on Thursday for a status hearing.
Willy's attorney, Curtis Vandeveld, and Joysa's attorney, John Gorman brought up a concern whether their clients are getting fair representation when it comes to selecting the jury pool for trial.
The defense argued that their clients, who are both from Chuuk, have a constitutional right to be tried by a jury of their peers.
Defense contends the issue could result in the potential for discrimination.
They requested the court produce appropriate jury impaneling documents that prove efforts have been made to ensure all members of the community are being represented.
Judge Tydingco-Gatewood informed defense counsels to file their request with the court by Aug. 22. The federal government was given another week to respond.
"If you find any irregularity then the court will allow you to file your motion," Gatewood said.
Joysa and Willy are scheduled to return to court for another status hearing on Sept. 23.
The pair 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 SNAP recipients to fraudulently obtain the monetary value of SNAP benefits, court documents state.
The alleged incidents occurred between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 1, 2013.