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As Bronx Man Pleads Guilty To Section 8 Fraud SDNY Judge Aaron Says US Has No Debtor Prison

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 15 – Edward Pabellon pled guilty to conspiracy to steal government funds on October 15, after three continuances in the interest of justice. Magistrate Judge Steward D. Aaron of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York accepted the guilty plea, and closed the proceeding with the statement that there is no debtor's prison in the United States.  

 The underlying crime was to file false information that he did not, in fact, reside with his now ex-wife Zoraida in a Section 8 government subsidized apartment in The Bronx.

   There were several wrinkles to the case. The first was the need for a Curcio hearing regarding one of Pabellon's two retained lawyer, his initial lawyer who had accompanied him during to audio recorded interviews with the Department of Investigation.

    Magistrate Judge Aaron asked Pabellon if he understand that this lawyer may not want the audio recordings and his role to come out at a trial. Pabellon said he understood.

    Pabellon's current lawyer Robert Leighton twice intervened to emphasize that while Pabellon accepts the 12 to 18 month guideline sentence in his plea agreement and his responsibility to pay $188,000 in forfeiture, he does not have that money available to him.

   Judge Aaron said while it was not his role to provide legal advice, he took judicial notice that there is no debtor's prison in the United States.

   With that a control date of February 17, 2020 was set, as SDNY District Judge Lorna G. Schofield has not yet set a sentencing date. Inner City Press will continue to follow this case. It is US v. Pabellon, 19-mj-5925 (Schofield).




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