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After Pro Se Check Cash Fraudster Stasiv Found Guilty, Cooperator Bertulis Gets Time Served

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon, Periscope

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 16 – A defendant charged with fraudulently cashing checks in many U.S. states appeared for trial that began May 6, 2019 representing himself, pro se, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York courtroom of Judge Kevin Castel.

Late on May 15 the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all three counts. Mid-afternoon on May 15 Stasiv's shadow counsel was three stories above, in the gallery for another case about a felon in possession in The Bronx. Then he, and Stasiv, were gone.

Now in 2021, on June 2, cooperator in the case Gediminas Bertulis came up for sentencing. The Assistant US Attorney praised him as contrite and useful, and said he would be surprised if he returned before the court.

The defendant spoke of his fathering, and contrition. He said where his twenty year old daughter goes to college. Judge Castel, showing mercy, sentenced him to time served to be followed - now - by three years of supervised release. Then the AUSA asked to seal what had already been publicly said about the location of the family, that is, daughter. Inner City Press is voluntarily not publishing it. But it is, or was, an open proceeding. US v. Bertulis, 18-cr-259 (Castel).
U.. v Stasiv, 18-cr-259 (Castel).

Back on May 6, 2019 the jury was selected, with Marko Stasiv several times making use of the Ukrainian language interpreters on hand.

   On May 14, the government's case against Stasiv plodded forward, with photographs of cell cite toward both urban (on top of a T-Mobile shop) and rural (made to look like a pine tree), and and explanation for the jury about how pinging and triangulation work. Stasiv sat at the defendant's table, looking at his own phone records, with a (then) home address on East 82nd Street in Manhattan.

  On the morning of May 8 Stasiv conducted some cross examination of the FBI's CART Agent Vincent P Radice who has partially extracted a Samsung Galaxy phone. Stasiv asked him about the case number and name - not his - under which the phone and SIM card were searched. Radice said repeatedly that he didn't know. Meanwhile the government has asked Judge Castel to redact racial words from text messages they want to introduce to convict Stasiv. For example, as the crew drives around waiting for a check cashing store, CW-1 texts Razumovskiy "It's such a f*cking c*nt of a black neighborhood here." The government wants to take out the word "black," so that the jury thinks between of CW-1.

  On May 7 Stasiv conducted cross examination of FBI Agent Fox, who had a box of seized cell phones, ID and bank cards in front of her. Stasiv asked Agent Fox, Did you observe me in the check cashing store? No, she had not. He questioned her about  the dates of the complaint and the warrant but she said she was not part of that process. One of the three Assistant U.S. Attorneys facing off against Stasiv -- they are Janis Echenberg, Noah Falk and Jonathan Rebold -- objected but Stasiv, now hopping around on a cane, prevailed. Defendant's Exhibits A and B are now part of the record.

  Also now part of the record are IDs belong to some of those charged along with Stasiv in the scheme, including Gennady Toporov and Mikhail Dikler.  The government says that two will testify against Stasiv, among a total of 28 government witnesses. Will the jury view this as overkill? Could rooting for the underdog result in a verdict of not guilty? No, not in this case. More on Patreon, here.


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