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Benjamin Indicted and No Travel to Albany Unlike VA & GA, $250000 Bond, No Comment

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 12 – Gerald Migdol, a lawyer who develops real estate in Harlem, was arrested early on November 19, 2021. Inner City Press covered his arraignment and when he was freed on $250,000 bond.

On April 12 the other shoe dropped when New York State Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin was indicted. Announced were a noon press conference by US Attorney Damian Williams and a presentment in the SDNY Magistrates Court, both of which Inner City Press will cover.

   Back in November Migdol was brought before U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang on the afternoon of November 19, in blue jeans. Inner City Press was there, in the gallery.  

 As it happens, Judge Wang is also on duty on April 12, 2022. In the early afternoon she arraigned and freed Benjamin - on agreeed conditions that allow travel to Georgia and Virginia, but not Albany: "Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang: Initial Appearance as to Brian Benjamin (2) held on 4/12/2022. Detention Hearing as to Brian Benjamin held on 4/12/2022. Date of Arrest: 4/12/2022, Vol. Surr. AUSA Alison Moe & David Abramowicz. Defense Counsel (Retained): James Gatta & William Harrington. Proceeding: Rule 9. BAIL DISPOSITION: Agreed conditions of release; $250,000 PRB; 1 FRP; Travel restricted to SDNY/EDNY/N.D.Ga., E.D.Va & points in between; Temporary additional travel upon consent of AUSA & approval of Pretrial Services; Surrender travel documents (& no new applications); Pretrial supervision as directed by Pretrial Services; Defendant to be released on own signature plus the following conditions: FRP; Remaining conditions to be met by 4/19/2022. ADDITIONAL PROCEEDINGS: Defendant arraigned; pleads Not Guilty. Conference before District Judge on 4/19/2022 at 11:30 a.m.."

 Inner City Press sought to ask Benjamin why, when he left the courthouse, video here. We'll have more on this.

 The Office of the US Attorney, being publicly sworn in at exactly that time at the Harlem Armory, agreed to Migdol's release on $250,000 personal recognizance bond.

 Migdol has a gun, which must be turned into the local police precinct by November 23, and an expired passport due later. 

 According to the prosecutors, "Candidate-1 filed a certification with the CFB in or about September 2019, becoming a candidate for the office of the New York City Comptroller and opting in to the CFB’s matching funds program.  Thereafter, MIGDOL and others conspired to obtain fraudulent contributions for Candidate-1 that would be used, among other things, to seek public matching funds from the CFB. .. Through these and other efforts, MIGDOL and others involved in the scheme procured nominee and other fraudulent contributions for Candidate-1’s campaign, which in turn were submitted to the CFB by Candidate-1’s campaign in connection with requests for at least tens of thousands of dollars in additional public matching funds."

  The case is assigned to District Judge J. Paul Oetken, who has scheduled a conference for December 6 at 11.

Inner City Press will stay on the case.

 It is US v. Migdol, 21-cr-706 (Oetken / Wang)


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