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Jury Convicted Conde of Stealing HRA Checks Now Co-Defendant Kone Continues Conditions

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, July 27 – Salifou Conde and others stole NYS Human Resources Administration rent subsidy checks from August 2016 through August 2019. Inner City Press reported on the trial, below, including the argument about HRA negligence.

Conde was found guilty of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud "in connection with his involvement in a years-long scheme to steal over $1.5 million from HRA following a four-day jury trial before
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

  On June 28, 2021, the trial was ongoing on the 26th floor of 500 Pearl Street, and Inner City Press covered it in person. The government put on the stand a man on a checkered shirt who work for the landlord who never got the HRA checks (their account was with Sterling National Bank, who trying to be bought by Webster); then a branch manager from JPMorgan Chase.

  Conde argued to get into evidence of negligence, that others are Deluxe Courier Service committed the crimes and that "HRA's lack of due diligence in authorizing, printing and delivering checks is relevant."

  On July 21, Judge Caproni held a bond hearing, in which Conde sought to be released pending sentencing. Two new bond co-signers were mentioned, and family obligations. Judge Caproni explained that she could not release Conde; remand was continued.

  On July 27, co-defendant Falikou Kone had a proceeding before Judge Caproni, seeking to modify his conditions for release. Judge Caproni made detailed inquired, then denied the request. She said his pre-trial motions are due August 13, with a status conference on August 9. Watch this site.

On June 15 Judge Caproni held a change of plea proceeding for co-defendant Issiaga Sylla. Inner City Press covered it.  

  Sylla was pleading guilty to Count 3. He said he was originally from Guinea but then became a naturalized US citizen. His sentencing will be in September. He is on the hook, if only joint and severally, for $3 million.

 Back in September 2020 on a co-defendant, Assistant US Attorney Kedar S. Bhatia said that Toure should be sentencing from between 18 and 24 months, arguing that the loss amount was "a conservative figure." 

 Toure's lawyers at Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP argued that "Toure is a hard-working family man who is essentially the lone earner for his wife and four children who live abroad in Senegal." 

  Judge Caproni after listening to arguments imposed a sentence of time served, with time in a halfway house, so that Toure can keep his job.

The overall case is US v. Conde, 19-cr-808 (Caproni). 


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