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Omar Amanat Sentenced To Five Years For Fraud & False Emails After Producing Twilight

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 19 – Omar Amanat, described as a high flying tech entrepreneur and producer of some of the "Twilight" films until his indictment for fraud, was sentenced on August 18, to five years. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

In the docket, Amanat's lawyer has written that "Mr. Amanat has received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. He remains in quarantine unit due to his other health conditions and circumstance."

Judge Gardephe: Offense level 33, sentencing guideline starts at 135 months. Defense? [Defense in writing has asked for time served: 44 months] Defense: remand and not bail was a good thing for him.

Defense lawyer cite Omar Anamat's heart condition, and the Bernie Madoff case.  I came into the case a month ago. My client is 49 years old. Recidivism is unlikely.

Omar Amanat: It's been 44 long months and my heart is heavy. I was wrong. Omar Amanat: My sorrow is genuine. I will repay any investor. In my late adolescence I experience trauma. We moved from Queens to rural New Jersey. I made 1 new friend: Cory Liebeler (sp). I learned the meaning of  friendship from him.

 Omar Amanat: We went to a frat party, with Jimmy the star pitcher from our baseball team. Cory drove me home - but he was drunk. He dropped me off, then wrapped his car around the tree and died, along with Jimmy the pitcher. I wanted to die. I had survivor's guilt

Omar Amanat: I see them still in their caskets, I see them in my dreams. What if I had not asked them to go out? If I had taken the keys away? There are parallels to the tragedy of today - the guy who was drunk trading, crashing and burning his investments

 Omar Amanat: My father passed away while I was in solitary. He was a good man, and he deserved a better son. I too am Cory, crashing my car into my family tree.   I ask for a 2d chance.  Judge Gardephe: I'll hear from the US. AUSA: There was a lengthy trial.

 AUSA: The fake emails support a sentencing enhancement, and is emblematic of how the defendant reacts when things do not go his way. He stole money from Steve Maiden and gave it to Kit Digital. He manipulated the public stock.

Judge Gardephe: I wrote a 128 page decision denying his post-trial motions. I did not permit the jury to see Mr. [Omar] Amanat's reference to Madoff, as too inflammatory under Rule 403. But I will consider it now at sentencing.

 Judge Gardephe links Omar Amanat not only to Twilight, but also The Hurt Locker. Judge Gardephe: He introduced fabricated emails. He has served his 44 month mostly in locked down, lack of showers and hot food. He has taught yoga.

I sentence you to five years.

Omar Amanat: Thank you for your mercy. Nothing like this will happen again, I give you my word.

Previously, the law firm that sought to represent him was not able to.

On May 4, 2021 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul G. Gardephe held a proceeding. Inner City Press covered it. 

At issue was whether Judge Gardephe's long ties with the law firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP means either he would be recused - unlikely, given the word he has put into the wider case - or Patterson Belknap be barred from putting in a notice of appearance.  

Judge Gardephe to his credit ran though his connections to Patterson Belknap. He was an associate there from 1983 to 1987, then a partner from 2003 to 2008 when he took the bench. Many of his law clerks have been hired there, and two of him mentors from there have photos on the wall of his chambers.   

The Patterson Belknap representative acknowledged the unlikelihood of recusal but said they though appearing for the sentencing would be different.

Judge Gardephe requested submission on the issue, including from Assistant US Attorney Daniel Tracer.  

Sentencing was tentatively set for August 19, two days after the sentencing of Omar's brother Irfan Amanat.

A request was made to lift the separation order the brothers have been subject to in the MDC; Judge Gardephe directed Tracer to tell the MDC it is lifted.

The case is USA v. Tuzman et al., 15-cr-536 (Gardephe)

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