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In SDNY Fraudster Hoey Asks That His Victim Family Members Can Visit As Kastigar Hearing Denied

By Matthew Russell Lee

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 17 – In a proceeding that was not a sentencing but a re-sentencing of Thomas Hoey, Jr. after his domestic abuse conviction was vacated, on July 17 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer noted the Hoey had pro se sent in an email requesting a Kastigar hearing into how privileged information from a first investigation allegedly influenced the second investigation.

  Judge Engelmayer made a point that Hoey's own family members were, legally, victims of his acts, but agreed to carat in a phrase that perhaps they could visit Hoey in jail. He'll be there a while - he has also been re-sentenced by SDNY Judge Castel. Inner City Press aims to have more on this - as of 9:20 pm on July 17, the docket did not contain the outcome of the morning's re-sentencing.

Back on June 5 a plea agreement for cooperation in a case not disclosed anywhere was cut before Judge Engelmayer. The only name given was "Padilla;" no case number was given. A lesser sentence under a so-called 5K letter was promised. But what was the case?

 Inner City Press which happened to be in the 40 Foley Square courthouse overflow room then press room overtaken by others on the Census question, undertook to search PACER for Padilla's. Of Padilla's having open cases in the SDNY there are 62. Among the defendants, it seems only Miguel Padilla is before Judge Engelmayer, in the wider indictment USA v. Rios et al., 18-cr-331 (PAE). There the most recent Docket File, No. 105, is sealed. And so it goes in the SDNY.

In the SDNY Magistrates Court later on June 5, a defendant called Nathaniel Taylor was denied bail; his sister and his partner, mother of his two month old son, spoke out as they left the courtroom.

   As recounted by Assistant US Attorney Thomas John Wright, Taylor had run from police in front of the housing project he lives or lived in at 1390 Fifth Avenue. He threw down a fanny pack that contained a 9 millimeter pistol.

  Taylor was jailed in Maine, previously, on narcotics charges. According to AUSA Wright he shattered a man's jaw. Taylor's Federal Defender lawyers, predictably, had a different story, of a baby in the NIC unit and aunts that work for the MTA and as a chef in Yankee Stadium. Both pictures can be true.

  Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein said the government met its burder and ordered Taylor, how ever his first name is spelled, detained. This as a accused pedofile Bryan Pivnick floated through his courtroom taking steps to being released, because his mother owns a home in New Jersey. Fannie pack indeed.

Earlier on June 5 a defendant called (phonetically) Joel Rodriguez was presented on fentanyl charges and was approved for release on bond. Rodriguez' Federal Defender lawyer apologized for using what SDNY Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein called "a twenty year old CJA form."

  Earlier still despite the drugs, which led to his arrest at JFK Airport at 11:45 pm the previous night, the government and Federal Defenders agreed on a bail package and Judge Gorenstein rubber stamped it. Only, neither the agreement nor even the case number was available.

Earlier on June 5 a shackled defendant known as Mister Booth asked to be released on bond so that he could have physical therapy on June 8 for a gunshot wound.

  Then the Assistant U.S. Attorney told Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein that Mr. Booth is in fact a suspect in a shooting related to the physical therapy he seeks. The AUSA said Booth has pending New York State cases including for dislocating his own daughter's shoulder. Judge Gorenstein said none of this was in the Probation Department's report; he remanded Booth and ordered Geoffrey Berman's office to come up with more information.

  Inner City Press, the only media in the Mag Court and still without access to the underlying case numbers or even full names, will have more on this. The information is clearly available: Judge Gorenstein said to his Deputy in open court, What does tomorrow's calendar look like? Why aren't those calendars public? See @SDNYLIVE.

  In a tale of two cases, on May 21 when Colin Akparanta was brought in shackles, accused of sexually abusing female prisoners under his control in the Metropolitan Correctional Center prison, into the SDNY Magistrates Court, his wife had been waiting for him for hours. So too his for-now publicly paid lawyer.

  A few hours before a defendant named Hunter accused of selling guns from South Carolina to an informant was processed in the same Magistrates Court, also with his wife or partner Hope Hall in the gallery. Unlike Akparnta, Farmer has no passport - and as noted in the courtroom, there are no SDNY extradition issues with South Carolina. Call it a tale of two arraignments, or presentments, whatever the term of art.

  As to Akparanta after a reading of the charges, Akparanta was offered $200,000 bail but only when others sign on to it. The U.S. Attorney's Office will go to the house he owns in Irvington, New Jersey to pick up his two guns, and then store them in a vault. His lawyer said Yes, he will be engaging in discussions about a pre-trial disposition, meaning a plea.

   The government argued for a curfew, saying that Akparanta is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Nigeria to which he retains strong ties. He didn't try to flee when first questioned - but it seems he thought he was under investigation only for bringing contraband into the MCC for female prisoners, not for the sex acts he traded the contraband and control for.

 The unsealed indictment in USA v. Akparanta lists as his nicknames or aliases "Africa" and "Akon." (A commenter on Inner City Press' thread about the arraignment noted that the singer Akon is not, in fact, from Nigeria - but neither is Africa a country.)

  Akparanta's lawyer expressed concern about where he would be detained on the night of May 21 while awaiting another signer for his bond and the retrieval of his guns. The prosecutors said he will not be in general population or even in any Bureau of Prisons facility but rather a contract one (sounds like GEO, a private prison.)

  The government asked that time be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act for discovery, which they said is voluminous even though the complaint says the sex acts took place off camera, referring to "The Bubble," and to discusss a pre-trial disposition, meaning a plea. Judge Freeman asked Akparanta's lawyer if he anticipated engaging in such discussions. Yes, was the answer. So how long, in a private prison? Inner City Press will continue to cover this case, and others.


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