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LIBOR Manipulators Get Six and Nine Months Home Confinement Black in UK Stayed Pending Appeal

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Oct 24 – In a near record three and a half hour sentencing proceeding on October 24, LIBOR manipulators Matthew Connolly and Gavin Black got sentences of six and nine months home confinement, respectively, with Black's to be served in his native United Kingdom.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Chief Judge Colleen McMahon explained that she would have imposed jail time on Black but for his legal immigration status.

  She called him a bit player in the LIBOR scheme, and Connolly barely a player at all. Both sentences, and presumably the $100,000 and $300,000 fines but not the $300 and $200 special assessments, were stayed pending the near-certain appeals.

  Chief Judge McMahon said the fraud enhancement sentencing guidelines were too high, and cited fellow SDNY Judge Jed Rakoff's similar position in a Rabobank sentencing. The question of whether US Probation can supervise Black's home confinement in the UK or must or can contract with another entity there remains one, and one that Inner City Press is interested in.

Previously before Chief Judge McMahon: Vianney Capellan and Rodin Diaz were indicted in July 2018 for a scheme to get vegetables without paying for them, to the tune of $3.5 million.

 The scheme involved the Hunts Point Produce Market in The Bronx, but at a status conference on August 15 before Chief Judge McMahon, it was said that Ms. Capellan who tried to call in by cell phone has moved up to Middletown. "My old stomping grounds," Judge McMahon said.

  For months the US Attorney's Office and the defense have been saying they are discussing a disposition, hung up on the loss amount. Judge McMahon on August 15 tried to focus their minds by setting a trial date: March 2, 2020. There will be another status conference on October 17 at 1:30, before one of the lawyers runs across Pearl Street to appear before SDNY Judge Valerie Caproni.

  It'll be tight, to run across to 40 Foley, the lawyer said. Back on August 15, 2018 - exactly a year ago - Judge McMahon said of the loss amount, that is a lot of lettuce, okay? Yes it is. Inner City Press will stay on this case.

Back on June 20 when U.S. Postal Service briber Ibrahim Issa came with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman to be sentenced by Judge McMahon, the U.S. Probation Department suggested 60 months in prison. Brafman wanted 29 months, name checking an Olive Society symposium he attended at Columbia University.

Judge McMahon said she had meant to attend that symposium. Then in an hour and a half sentencing proceeding she imposed the 60 months recommended by probation - where she came out before seeing their recommendation, she said.

  While Brafman said he thought Issa would come out better after going to trial albeit losing, Judge McMahon said what she learned during the two week trial did not redound to Issa's benefit. He evaded taxes, changing accountants when they gave him advice he didn't like.

  Brafman described Issa in a restaurant with a target of his bribes gesturing at what he called the other businessmen taking others out to dinner. But these were bribes to get contracts to repair Postal Service vehicles.

 Brafman's best argument was that the tax charges were only brought when Issa decided to go to trial rather than plead guilty. The government declined to comment on the timing, and Judge McMahon focused in the unsavoriness of shifting tax burdens on to others.

  Brafman requested Canaan camp in Pennsylvania, self-surrender September 5.  Judge McMahon said they might not be ready for Issa by then. We'll see.

As if in another world, in the trial of US v. Jason Polanco many videos of store robberies in masks were shown on June 19, complete with play by play by one of the now unmasked participants, Joshua Kemp. Hours later a higher profile defendant scheduled for the same courtroom had a more effective mask: his unnumbered case was quietly adjourned, see below.

  In Bureau of Prison blues in the late morning, Kemp described buying Halloween masks on Fordham Road and targeting a liquor store in Washington Heights.

   In the courtroom of SDNY Judge Paul A. Engelmayer the jurors started intently at their screens as Kemp chased a liquor store worker. The defendant, presumably, pushed a liquor store customer to the ground. Later they ran off down the sidewalk. Today everything is filmed.

  But there are still disputes. Polanco's lawyer Donna R. Newman on June 18 wrote to Judge Engelmayer about "the substantive Hobbs Act robbery of a Citgo station on November 24, 2014," saying that "there is no disinterested eyewitness identification of Mr. Polanco, no DNA, no fingerprints, and nothing that links Mr. Polanco to these robberies other than the word of a cooperating witness, Joshua Kemp."

  Inner City Press has asked the US Attorney's Office for the government exhibits. Later on June 19, a plea that Judge Engelmayer was supposed to take in US v Meyers, initially with no case number, was abruptly postponed. But Inner City Press is on the case, see below, @InnerCityPress and the new @SDNYLIVE:

   The US has quietly filed a criminal antitrust case against Banca IMI trader Larry D. Meyers, concealing the case number and adjourning what was listed as a plea proceeding on June 19 before Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Inner City Press can report.

  The case involves violations with the Sherman Act with respect to American Depository Receipts. It is a quiet part of a larger case.


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