Judge Issues Defense Deadline in RSI Trial

U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Erickson says he will stick to an Aug. 23 trial date for Racing Services Inc., even though three of the four defendants don't have lawyers.

In a status hearing Wednesday, Erickson ordered the troubled Fargo simulcast betting business, its vice president, Raymundo Diaz, and Diaz's company, Global Contact, to hire attorneys by May 17.

In December, a federal grand jury indicted Diaz, Global Contact, RSI and RSI owner Susan Bala on 12 criminal counts related to illegal gambling and money laundering. They're accused of taking more than $99 million in wagers at an illegal gambling site in south Fargo from October 2002 to April 2003.

Bala was represented at Wednesday's hearing by her lawyer, Mark Beauchene.

Diaz, who appeared alone, told Erickson he has two candidates for lawyers, one from Minneapolis and one from Las Vegas.

A U.S. trustee, expected to be appointed in early May to oversee RSI's assets during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, will be responsible for finding a lawyer for RSI.