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Jeffries Account Was Looted By Two Men But Elias Got 42 Months While Cooperator dos Rios Got Time Served

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 4 – Evandro Dos Rios helped Marcos Elias steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from an inactive account at Jeffries. Dos Rios was arrested in August 2015 but it was never made public.

  While ultimately agreeing to pay restitution Dos Rios told the prosecutors, and they chose to believe, that he had not known what he was doing and that he would help them lure back from Switzerland and convict Marcos Elias.

  Inner City Press walked into Dos Rios' long delayed sentencing on September 4 in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York courtroom of Judge Gregory H. Woods. As it walked in, Dos Rios' lawyer was arguing for no jail time, saying that "cooperators don't do well" in prison.

  Judge Woods agreed, and gave Dos Rios three years probation on each count he pleaded guilty to, to run concurrently.

 By contract, Judge Woods sentenced Elias on the two counts to which he pleaded guilty to 18 and 24 months -- consecutive, for a total of 42 months, recommended in FCI Allenwood.

  One would assume that Dos Rios bore almost no guilt. But in a filing not in his but in Elias' case, 18-cr-419, Assistant US Attorney Sagar K. Ravi wrote of a "dispute about whether Elias gave dos Rios up to approximately $15,000 of the fraud proceeds," but said "this dispute is not relevant to any purported sentencing disparity based on the aggravated identity theft."

 There isn't a sentencing disparity? We aim to have more on this. In part it is the murkiness, the long sealed nature of the case against dos Rios, that allows for this.

Back on August 7 a criminal presentation with Arabic interpreter was set for 2:45 pm in the SDNY courtroom of District Judge John G. Koeltl. Inner City Press, alerted by its sources, went into the courtroom. Soon Assistant US Attorney Robert B. Sobelman was asking Inner City Press questions.

  At 3:09 pm Judge Koeltl's acting clerk called the case as "United States versus John Doe." The defendant's lawyer, who told the US Marshals not to bring his client out of the holding cell, asked Judge Koetlt for a sidebar. Judge Koeltl, unlike Circuit Judge Richard J. Sullivan on July 26, granted the sidebar. The white noise was turned on.

  After a more than eight minute animated sidebar discussion, with the two lawyers, two clerks, the acting deputy and a court reporter,  Judge Koeltl took the bench and asked Inner City Press to leave. He said there was a compelling need for secrecy, without explaining what it was, and said that the government would provide some update about this need for secrecy -- in sixty days.

   The deputy came and indicted it was time to leave. While doing so, this reporter asked Judge Koeltl, What's the case number?

  After a pause, Judge Koeltl said replied with a number.

  But down at the PACER terminal in SDNY Press Room 480, where Inner City Press earlier on August 7 was belatedly assigned a desk, the response to this quiery was, Cannot find [that] case."

   The defendant, it was said before Inner City Press was ordered out, was arrested the night before. His defense lawyer joked with the deputy about Mad magazine's series, "Spy versus Spy." In the gallery were a half dozen camouflage dressed agents whom Judge Koeltl allowed to stay, along with a representative of pre-trial services. Is the defendant going to be released on bond? Is he - or she - a cooperator? What is the basis for this unannounced total sealing of the courtroom for a criminal presentment? As of 4 September 2019 the case is still listed as entirely sealed. Inner City Press will have more on this.

Back on July 22 in a court proceeding that began as open, with the defendants' family members and even legal interns present, Inner City Press was ordered to leave, leaving no media or member of the general public present.

  It took place in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street in Courtroom 14C before Judge Paul A. Crotty: USA v. Perlson, 18-cr-751.

  When Inner City Press went in at 11:30 am, at first Judge Crotty was asking why a transcript in the case said it was from November 31, when November has only 30 days.

  "Good catch," the Assistant US Attorney said, adding that he thought it was from October 31. He added that Perlson would now be allocuting to Count 2 and that there was a cooperation agreement.

  Suddenly the lawyers pointed out Inner City Press in gallery, and said while legal interns were OK then objected to Inner City Press' presence. Judge Crotty asked Inner City Press to identify itself.

  "I am a reporter. If you are going to try to close a public courtroom there must be specific findings, for specific portions. There is case law."

  There followed a sidebar, apparently transcribed, from which Inner City Press was excluded. At the end Judge Crotty while ordering Inner City Press to leave said that the government's case is moving along well and that he hoped to unseal the transcript in a month.

 As of 4 September 2019, more than a month later, the case is still not even listed in PACER.

  On 9 July 2019 before SDNY Judge Loretta A. Preska: listed on PACER and in the SDNY lobby for 10 am before her was the case of USA v. Connors Person, et al, 17-cr-683, complete with letters of support from the head bank regulators of the state of Alabama.

  But when Inner City Press arrived at 10:10 am, there was a shackled defendant with corn rows at the defense table. His lawyer stood and summoned Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Balsamello out into the hall by the elevators.  When they returned, at the same time as two of the defendant's family members, Judge Preska asked about those present in the room, and summoned the lawyers up for a sidebar - with a court reporter, which may later be significant.

  After the sidebar discussion, Judge Preska called the case as US v. Santino-Barrero (phonetically - it was not written down anywhere.) Then Judge Preska asked the defendants' family members to stand, then the legal interns, then other interns introduced by one of the Marshals.

  "Is that you in the back, Mister Lee?" Judge Preska asked.  Inner City Press previously reported daily on the UN bribery trial and sentencing of Patrick Ho before Judge Preska, once answering in open court her question about press access to exhibits in that case. So the answer was Yes.

  I'm going to have to ask you to leave, Judge Preska said.

  The PACER terminal in the SDNY Press Room does not list a Santino Barrero as a defendant. The Bureau of Prison's website is only searchable with a first name, which was not given.

 Inner City Press will have more on this - see also @InnerCityPress and the new @SDNYLIVE.


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