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Bank Fraud Plea Gets Fleshed Out Before SDNY Judge Berman With Co Defendant Named

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
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SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 31 –  Terrence Morgan charged in January with trying to steal $2.5 million from a law firm by means of bank fraud. On October 17 he pled guilty before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron.   

  While changes of plea are among the most scripted of Federal court proceedings, this one left the District Judge assigned, Richard M. Berman, wanting more. In the October 17 transcript the colloquy had this:

THE COURT: Tell me in your own words what you did.

THE DEFENDANT: In 2019, I agreed with others to commit bank fraud, fraudulently.   

  On October 31 Judge Berman read these lines back, and said "it need to be fleshed out." He asked Assistant US Attorney Robert Sobelman for more information, than asked defendant Morgan again what he had gone.

    This time Morgan referred to "my co-defendant" - that is, Abrahim Kamara - and began to further explain that at the time he had financial problems.

   Morgan's lawyer whispered in his ear, and soon the allocution resumed and was successfully completed, with Judge Berman declaring it "enough for today."

    The financial problems, and whether referring to his co-defendant is viewed by the government as a form of cooperation or instead a failure to take responsibility, should be seen in Morgan's sentencing submission in February 2020. The case is US v. Morgan, 19-cr-209 (Berman).


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