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Ari Teman Said His Lawyer May Have Spied For SDNY, Got Year & A Day, Now Parents

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

SDNY COURTHOUSE, August 23– Ari Teman, raising prosecutorial misconduct up to the day of his then-scheduled sentencing on December 1, 2020 learned on that day that his defense lawyer is married to a prosecutor.

 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer held Teman's sentencing on July 28, 2021, in-person. Inner City Press went, and was alone in the gallery of the courtroom as Teman spoke movingly for himself. Then after a 20 minute break Judge Engelmayer imposed a sentence of a year and a day. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here and below.

  Now there's more: Teman wrote to Judge Engelmayer to oppose his lawyers application to withdraw, even before it was filed. He has put in new evidence, which unlike his emails have yet to be docketed.

Then, an August 20 notarized affidavit from Shelly Jenkins Pecot, in a format that cannot (yet) be pasted in here. But it should be in the docket.  So too this from his parents: "Your Honor,  We write to you respectfully the attached letter to express some issues regarding counsel, restitution handling, and our son, Ari Teman's case and request that it be filed to the docket.  We sincerely request your kindness and assistance to assure Ari good counsel and to consider the newly available exculpatory evidence that shows Ari clearly informed his customers of the payment obligations and believed his collection to be contractual and legal and without any intent to commit fraud.   Thank you, Suzan and David Teman."

  From Judge Engelmayer: "ORDER as to Ari Teman. Sentencing in this case of bank and wire fraud was held on Wednesday, July 28, 2021; the Court's judgment issued on July 29, 2021, Dkt. 253; and defendant Ari Teman filed a notice of appeal on August 3, 2021, Dkt. 254. The latter divested the Court, with limited exceptions, of jurisdiction over the case, including to modify its judgment. The Court, accordingly, before taking any other action in the case, intends to assure that defense counsel and Teman forthwith arrange for the payment of the full restitution figure to the Clerk of Court, on the understanding, which the Court has clearly set out, that the Court will not order the release of such funds unless and until Teman's appellate rights with respect to his conviction and sentence have been exhausted. To assure that this promise is kept, the Court directs that, if the $333,000 restitutionpayment has not been made in full to the Clerk of Court by Friday, August 27, 2021, at noon,sworn declarations are be filed on the docket of this case by 5:00 p.m. that day by each of Teman, his two counsel, and each party whose funds are presently held in escrow and earmarked for restitution, each explaining in detail the failure to transmit these funds to the Clerk of Court. The Court further schedules an in-person hearing for Tuesday, August 31, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., in courtroom 1305 of the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse. This hearing will go forward if restitution has not been paid in full by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 30, 2021." Watch this site.

From the July 28 sentencing: Teman spoke about growing up in Teaneck, NJ, and most recently helping after the Surfside disaster, getting Amazon to disclose which residents had packages delivered and which didn't. He asked for non-incarceratory sentence. Guideline is 30 to 37 months.

Judge Engelmayer: You threatened to report one of the landlords to the NY Attorney General. You took advantage of others' religious faith. Reading the correspondence, we see a vendetta...

 Judge Engelmayer: You were 37 when you committed these crimes. Many defendants before me had committed crimes as young people. [Some may remember Judge Engelmayer's sentencing of Tekashi #6ix9ine: 6ix9ine's Judge Was "Scolding" & Deliberately Dramatic: An Interview With @InnerCityPress EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Lee of Inner City Press speaks on his coverage of the high-profile 6ix9ine case here

 Judge Engelmayer: Your moving account of your charitable contributions, of your time, has impressed me. And the letters - here are some excepts:  Your parents speak of the joy you have brought them...

 Judge Engelmayer: Doctor Coleman, a physician and entrepreneur: Ari makes the world a better place. He's a helper.... Jeffrey Katz: Ari will stumble on a concept that will make the world a better place... A non-profit says you performed for them

 Judge Engelmayer: I agree with the [TED Talk] quote you shared with me, that None of us are the best or worst thing we have done... Mr. Teman, I'm glad to hear you are vaccinated. I have no doubt that your time in prison will be harder than it would have been... Inner City Press

 Judge Engelmayer: If conditions change, on variants, I would entertain an application from you as I have in another case. The defense is asking for time served. That's a non-starter.

 Judge Engelmayer: The government asks for the guideline [30 to 37 months]. There's a non frivolous argument for that. But given your personal mitigating factors - lack of criminal history, mental health, your volunteering - justify a significant downward variance

 Judge Engelmayer: Also, the government has chosen to ask for forfeiture on top of restitution. I'm going to state the sentence. Please rise. Mr. Teman, it is the judgment of the court you serve a sentence of one year and one day.

 Judge Engelmayer: The one day allowed you to get "good time" credit. Then, supervised release and anger management.

 Judge Engelmayer: Forfeiture I find mandatory, $333,000 - I lowered the prison time for that. I'll give counsel two weeks to submitted a draft order of restitution.  Now what about bail pending appeal. What are the close questions for appeal? 

Judge Engelmayer: You claim AUSA erred in his summation. I've comprehensively autopsied that one in my decision of July 9.  Defense: Our banking expert, the prosecution didn't rebut him.

 Defense: There's also the prior ineffective assistance [of counsel].

Judge Engelmayer: That's interesting...

Judge Engelmayer left Teman out of bail pending appeal, but admonished and then exchanged thanks with him. Inner City Press will stay on the case.

Previously, the December 1, 2020 proceeding, Inner City Press covered and tweeted it, below.

  Now on July 9, 2021, Judge Engelmayer held another proceeding, and Inner City Press again covered it. Judge Engelmayer denied a motion that he recuse himself, based on Bank of America's role and Berkshire Hathaway's stake in BofA. We may return to that, and to a "Jake Green" filing the Judge Engelmayer cited.

From December 1, 2020: From the first moment, Judge Engelmayer said he would not be imposing sentence in the proceeding. He expressed amazement that the conflict wasn't disclosed to him, particularly by the prosecutors usually so fast to request so-calls Curcio hearings. He discovered it as he prepared remarks about having known the lawyer.

  But a simple Internet search finds that defense lawyer Noam Korati Biale of Sher Tremonte LLP is married to Margaret Graham, who appears working an SDNY prosecutor in press releases.   

  Teman added that Biale and Sher Tremonte were specifically retained to work on Brady disclosure issues, citing US v. Nejad, US v. Ahuja and other cases covered by Inner City Press.

He also noted that since people are working at home, it is more possible for spouses to overhear each other's work.

So sentencing was adjourned, as were the Bank of America issues Inner City Press covered earlier in the day, here.

The case is US v. Teman, 19-cr-696 (Engelmayer)


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