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Stokes Stole Food Stamps in EDNY Now Gets Belatedly Misdemeanor Deal in SDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - The Source

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 23 – Gerard Stokes was indicted in 2015 for 2012 to 2013 felony identity theft and stealing of SNAP food stamps funds, "county of officer Bronx and New York."  

On July 23 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge John G. Koeltl held a change of plea proceeding. Inner City Press covered it.

  Now, AUSA Daniel Richenthal presented Stokes - in this proceeding a seemingly man and humble man - as guilty only of a misdemeanor, with penalty capped at $25,000. 

 Judge Koeltl quoted the statute with the cap at $100,000. After  break, as Stokes walked home, Richenthal agreed it was an error, that $100,000 was the right number. 

  But still, what explained the down-shift to a misdemeanor? Stokes' lawyer Steve Zissou thanked the judge for being "so patient." Was this a cooperator? 

 In the allocuation, Stokes after turning on his fan said he'd used the EBT cards at BJs in Queens, Brooklyn and on Long Island, not in Manhattan or the Bronx - the SDNY.  

AUSA Richenthal cut in that HRA is based in Manhattan and that Stokes waived venue. Whatever.

It was and is a strange proceeding, with sentencing on November 20.

The case is US v. Stokes, 16-cr-170 (Koeltl)


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