James Michael Fayed appeared in federal court today to plead not guilty to a single charge of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business. His Camarillo-based company, Goldfinger Coin and Bullion Sales, faces the same count, stemming from a sealed complaint alleging the firm engaged in fraud. Alleged precious metals shenanigans are not what brought the media to the Roybal Federal Building in force, however, but the anticipation that Fayed could sooner or later be charged in the murder of his estranged wife Pamela, who co-ran Goldfinger and who was stabbed to death in a Century City parking garage July 28.
James Fayed, a stocky, middle-aged figure with a round face and gray hair, wore a green prison windbreaker and gray T-shirt, the standard uniform of downtown’s Metropolitan Detention Center. He has been held without bail since his arrest August 1. Outside the courtroom, his attorney, Mark J. Werksman, said he plans to raise the bail issue soon, since, he said, there’s no indication that police will charge Fayed with causing the death of the woman with whom he was engaged in a bitter divorce.
“The LAPD,” Werksman said, “have taken no action regarding my client – nor may they ever.”
Werksman said normally for this kind of white-collar-crime indictment, a person would be released on his own recognizance, but because there exists the possibility that Fayed may be indicted for murder, he has been held without bail. He claimed that either the state of California or the federal government could charge Fayed with murder, prior to the start of his trial, which is now scheduled for September 30.
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Werksman told magistrate judge Charles F. Eick that Fayed suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and is not receiving the necessary amount of medication in the federal lockup. On top of Fayed’s joints hurting in the joint, Werksman said his client suffers from an autoimmune disorder. Eick scheduled a status conference for September 15.