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Burbank Cites Bank in Iraq At His Sentencing Which Is Postponed By SDNY Judge Berman

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 30 – William Burbank was set to be sentenced on October 30 for wire fraud involving having told investors he would put their funds into the Iraqi dinar but not, in fact, doing so.

    But even after his guilty plea, part of Burbank's defense or argument for mitigation is that it is impossible for him to get funds out of his bank in Iraq in order to pay the $2 million in restitution he has agreed to.

    On October 30 his sentencing was postponed as U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Richard M. Berman asked a series of questions about this money in Iraq, and the Iraqi banking industry in general.    

Burbank, speaking for himself despite having a defense lawyer on each side of him, said that as recently as eight months ago his bank in Iraq sent him $5,000 via Western Union. He also said that since the bank's SWIFT code has been suspended, it is difficult to get money out.   

Assistant US Attorney Christine I. Magdo said this was the first she had heard of Burbank getting any money at all out of Iraq.

    But she argued that since the government had only chosen to charge Burbank for the time after he stopped sending any funds into Iraq, retrieving the money of people who called Burbank's earlier victims might be irrelevant to the restitution Burbank owes to after-arising victims.

   Burbank said he expected if he got his money out of Iraq, and paid the earlier people bank, some $2 million would remain - precisely the amount he owes in restitution.

   AUSA Magdo said she has serious doubts Burbank will get any money out of Iraq.  

Judge Berman quipped, You're a prosecutor. That's how you're supposed to think.

   Judge Berman gave 30 days to learn more about the particular bank, with which Burbank says Goldman Sachs has done business, and the Iraqi banking industry in general, and to tie it back into restitution which he said is relevant to the sentence he will impose. Inner City Press intends to look into this - and to continue to report on this case, which is US v. Burbank, 18-cr-00700 (Berman).


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