Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER
 More: InnerCityPro

MRL on Patreon

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In SDNY Luna Who Stole 161 NYC Gov Phones Gets Six Months Jail Then Home Detention As General Deterrence

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 23 – Eric Luna stole at least 161, and perhaps 500, smart phones from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and re-sold them through a company in Florida, keeping over $100,000 for himself. On April 23 he showed up for sentencing by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Kevin Castel, and his lawyer emphasized that Luna had been going through a separation from a wife who made and makes $60,000 a year and that he is now trying to get a job with roofing company Roof Right America.  Judge Castel was not impressed. He enumerated the breaks that Luna had been given, adding that taxpayers will stop wanting to pay for programs like DYCD when they find out the money is being stolen. He sentenced Luna to six months of prison and six months of home detention, under a sentencing guideline of 12 to 18 months. Castel said for general deterrence, the news of this sentence must go forth. Inner City Press was the only media in his courtroom. We'll have more on, and like, this.

  Usually court hearings about violations of supervised release are depressing, sometimes ending with the violator put back in shackles and remanded. But on April 8 before SDNY Judge Castel, there was one out of the norm. Jonathan Puello was charged back to 2012, and on April 8 initially the talk was of new state law charges - some dropped - and of two drugs tests failed for marijuana. But his lawyer attributed this to second hand smoke and pointed out the cleanest of urine since. Significantly, Puello is set to run a Chic-fil-A restaurant, with an annual salary of $65,000, total compensation $77,000. Judge Castel, who recently presided over a double murder cold case that Inner City Press covered daily, said this job offer is good news, and told Puello to arrange his life differently that the way that resulted in second hand smoke charges. The proceedings was put back on for after another state issue, on which Puello's lawyer declined to charge money for advice, is resolved. It's what passes for good news in the SDNY.

Back on April 4  long time petty criminal was brought shackled into Federal court on Thursday, after serving three years in state penitentiary for stealing appliances from a department store. This was deemed a violation of supervised release, and the Assistant US Attorney argued for no bail. But Stanley Bamber was born in Newark and still has family in New Jersey. He could live with his brother, his assigned lawyer argued, pending arguments before SDNY Judge Alison Nathan, occupied the same day with Elon Musk. It was finally agreed that if Probation approves and radio frequency electronic monitoring is in place, the 60 year old Bambury may see the light of day. Between 1976 and 2000, the prosecutor said, Bamber was charged with crimes 35 times. His was the last case of the day; in the elevator Inner City Press asked the AUSA about his record and got a Have a good night. Okay then - just another day in the SDNY. Johnny Morgan is suing the United States for a rectal search he endured in the Metropolitan Correctional Center at 150 Park Row, right next to the SDNY. On April 4 before SDNY Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman, the government presented an expert Roy Lubit who said that Morgan is a "malingerer" and blamed his pain on abuse suffered earlier at the hand of his own mother. But even government expert Lubit said that the rectal entry should not have happened. It is, in fact, an outrage. Inner City Press was the only media in the smallish courtroom, compared to dozens of reporters two hours later for Elon Musk. While some might question taxpayer money going to pay damages for what happened to Mr. Morgan, what about public money for an expert witness to insult the torturee? We'll have more on this. The Federal Defenders scored a big win in a misdemeanor proceeding that only Inner City Press attended and covered on April 2. They defeated the U.S. Attorney's Office which argued that the simple assault they agreed to on a dispute on a cruise ship required allocution to actual physical conflict. There was case law on the Federal Defenders' side, and a plea to making a threat on the cruise ship - in "international waters" -- was found sufficient. The case was United States v. Batista, 18 Cr. 730 (NRB). The Federal Defenders lawyer was Sabrina P. Shroff, whom Inner City Press has previously covered in the UN bribery cases of Patrick Ho (new Hong Kong documentary here), getting bail for Cheikh Gadio, and of Ng Lap Seng, representing hapless Jeff Yin. The issue in Batista was whether simple assault requires the defendant to "strike or choke." Ms. Shroff cited the US v Denis and US v Chestaro cases, and the matter was quickly disposed by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in her relatively small courtroom on the 21st floor of 500 Pearl Street. The question is why the U.S. Attorney's Office in this case had not researched basic case law - and whether the defendant Carlos Batista, Junior, from the Dominican Republic, must now be deported. We hope to have more on this.

Earlier on April 2, in 40 Foley: "I was a street drug dealer in from of my building in the Bronx," a defendant told U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer on April 2. Defendant Gonzalez was pleading guilty to a lesser included charge, with a guideline sentence of between 120 and 150 months in jail. But he won't be sentenced until July 11 at 2:30 pm, after the Probation Department does its interview and issues a Pre Sentencing Report that will remain sealed until, somehow, Gonzalez appeals. We'll have more on this - there were no family members in the courtroom, no media other than Inner City Press. Back on March 28 an insider trading action by the SEC was under heavy fire in SDNY courtroom of Judge Richard M. Berman. The SEC had in 2017 grand alleged that "Ariel Darvasi and Amir Waldman were in possession of material nonpublic information about the impending acquisition when they purchased Mobileye securities" just prior to its acquisition by Intel. But on March 28 the defendants' lawyers, moving for summary judgment, mocked the arguments. They said Waldman was "not a direct insider;" they said suspicious trades are not enough, mere contact with an insider is not enough. The SEC lawyer responded with tales of MobileEye's founders private jet flight to New York to nail down the Intel deal. Much of the argument came down to whether a response by Waldman during deposition, that he had been aware of the trip - "yes" - before the words, for the merger, were said, should go to a jury. The defendants insisted on their video. There was no other media in the court room but Inner City Press, still without its electronics. So what of general deterrence? What of transparency? In the SDNY there is no comprehensive calendar, and for now the Press that seeks to report on as much as possible is still restrained. We'll have more on this.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for