Lito Lapid wife’s trial in US starts Feb. 7 | Global News

Lito Lapid wife’s trial in US starts Feb. 7

Senator Lito Lapid and his wife Marissa

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The wife of Senator Lito Lapid will not be required by the United States Attorney’s Office in Nevada to explain the source of her wealth when the hearing on her case for dollar smuggling starts on February 7, according to her American lawyer.

“Where it came from, it doesn’t really matter. It’s not relevant [to the case],” Elio Krieger, the counsel of Marissa Tadeo Lapid, said of the $40,000 that authorities found stashed in socks and a cloth bag in her luggage.


Marissa failed to report the entire amount and only declared $10,000, the maximum that the US government allows tourists to bring into the country.

Still, Krieger, in a telephone interview on Thursday, did not say why Marissa, 54, did not declare the bulk of the amount when she entered Las Vegas, Nevada, in November last year.


$500,000 bail

The Department of Homeland Security, he said, arrested his client on January 15 upon her return at the invitation of the agency so she could deal with the case. The US government placed a lien (legal claim) on the Las Vegas property of Marissa to cover her $500,000 bail.

Krieger said he was not expecting the February 7 preliminary hearing to determine probable cause based on evidence presented to the US attorney’s office.

“Generally, a grand jury might hear the case,” he said. “The case is really simple: [She entered the United States] without reporting the cash she was bringing.”

Nevada has 17 jurors, according to a handbook by the University of Dayton School of Law. Grand jury proceedings are secret.

Asked if Senator Lapid would be required to testify in support of his wife, Krieger said: “At this point, no.”

He said his client was “doing fine and comfortable in her home.” Marissa’s travels have been restricted within Clark County in Nevada and are being monitored. She has been required to wear an ankle bracelet with GPS (global positioning system) linkup to give her location.

Originally posted at 07:06 pm | Thursday, February 02,  2012

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TAGS: dollar smuggling, Judiciary, Lito Lapid, Marissa Lapid, Philippines, Philippines - Regions, trial, US
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