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Calk Got Year and a Day For Manafort Loans But Bail Pending Appeal Now Wants to Cruise

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast 2 3 5
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, March 7 – After months of preliminaries, the trial of Stephen Calk for conspiracy to trade his bank's loans to Paul Manafort for the Secretary of the Army position began on June 23. Inner City Press live tweeted, here, previous coverage here,  podcast here

 On July 13, after mere hours, the jury found him guilty. Inner City Press verdict tweet here; in front of 40 Foley Square, Calk refused questions (including on his bank and desire of UN Ambassador position) and was whisked off in a black car. Video here. Sentencing set for January 10, 2022. Podcast here.

 On February 7, 2022 Calk was sentenced to a year and a day - but asked for bail pending appeal. Now on March 7 he has asked Judge Schofield for a "modification to the conditions of his release" because he "seeks to take his three children on a one-week cruise with ports of call outside the US." Photo here. Watch this site.

 Inner City Press live tweeted the sentencing, here:

now sentencing of Manafort's lending Stephen Calk, by  @SDNYLIVE  Judge Schofield. Government has asked for 51-63 months.

Judge Schofield: I denied Defense's post-trial motions. In the pre-sentencing report, Mr. Calk objects to the characterization of harm to the bank. I will modify it, I will add Mr. Calk's counsel's language almost verbatim

 Judge Schofield: The value of the bribe triggers the sentencing guideline. The government proposed 51 to 63 months, based on a value of more than $550,000. They have the burden.  AUSA:  Mr. Calk claims we have to use alternate loan terms from the same institution.

 Calk's lawyer: A hard money lender is an entirely different kind of lender than The Federal Saving Bank. It's apple and oranges.  Judge Schofield: I decline to apply the 14 level increase.

 Judge Schofield: The government has withdrawn its request for an increase for obstruction of justice, asking instead that it be considered under Section 3553. I will do so. Defense' opposition to enhancement for abuse of trust I do not find persuasive.

Judge Schofield: There will be no restitution, and there is no request for forfeiture. Let me hear from the government on sentencing. AUSA: FDIC insurance benefits society, & the banks and bankers. Defendant doesn't get to benefit from it then corrupt it by bribes

AUSA: We often see politicians wanting to be rich. This is the opposite. Being a banker made the defendant rich, but he wanted power, in a government position. Defense: We believe a non-carceratory sentence is appropriate. He is a good and decent man.

Defense: Why did Mr. Calk want to be under-secretary of the Army? He wanted to help people in the military. [But the evidence showed he had a list of positions to buy, including US Ambassador to the UN - double corruption]

 Defense: He dreamed of public service. And there is no harm - he did not get within 50 miles of a US post. He got a courtesy interview at Trump Tower. Mr. Calk is a banker.

 Defense: The US Marshals let vagrants into Manaford's Brooklyn brownstone. This was bribery from a publicly-minded motive. Send a message? To who? Who else would risk his life's work for what Mr. Calk got in this case.

 Defense: He can never run a bank again. He will have his dignity destroyed. There is no need for further punishment.  Judge Schofield: I'm not sure I heard anything new in there. Mr. Calk? Calk: May I remain seated? Thanks for reading my letters (voice cracking)

Calk: I am grateful for the many in the armed forces who have reached out to me, both enlisted and enlisted. My credit cards were taken away. My bank was my life's work. It was my legacy. It has helped thousands of people to reach the American Dream.

 Calk: There are so many great people who work there who have been impacted. (Sob). It's also brought me profound sorry the government questioned my devotion to the military. Service to the country has been at the core of who I am as an American.

 Calk: I hope your honor will consider it in passing judgment. I disagree with the jury's verdict. But I have searched myself deeply. Thanks you for listening to me. Judge Schofield: The guideline now is six to 12 months. You are 57 years old, you have an MBA

Judge Schofield: You went to Harvard Business School. You took advantage of your opportunities. Your income is from the bank; the other shareholders are your brother and your ex-wife. You were in the Reserves, not in activity duty. You are divorced.

Judge Schofield: You turned yourself in and were released on bond the same day [Inner City Press covered that, in SDNY Mag Court]. The probation department recommends three years. I have concluded to impose a sentence of incarceration.

 Judge Schofield: Mr. Calk, it is the judgment of the court that you are remanded to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for a year and a day. [That allows calculation of "good time" - so, less than a year]

 Judge Schofield: Do you intend to reside in Florida? A: Yes, Your Honor. Judge Schofield: The sentence is imposed. Defense: We request bail pending appeal.

 Schofield: I grant bail pending appeal. The conditions of bail will continue. Inner City Press @innercitypress

Defense: fwiw We are for designation at the minimum security camp at Oxford, Wisconsin. Judge Schofield: Granted. We are adjourned

Ealier comment from Calk's lawyer: "We are very disappointed by the verdict and will be pursuing all available legal remedies, including an appeal," said Paul H. Schoeman, Co-Managing Partner at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.

 On December 6, Calk's lawyer Schoeman filed a sentencing memo asking for no incarceration, calling this "case truly unique in the annals of bank bribery prosecutions." So too would be a non incarceratory sentence for this crime.

On December 22 the US Attorney's Office put in its sentencing memo, calling the 51 to 63 month guideline "appropriate" and annexing information about a JAMS arbitration and Calk's divorce. Watch this site.

On August 20, Kramer Levin filed a letter seeking acquittal, arguing among other things that Manafort's help wasn't worth the requisite $1000," amounting to no more that "one email to Jared Kushner and communications with Scaramucci."

On October 8, Kramer Levin went further, saying the government's focus on the value of Calk's plane ticket to New York to be interviewed by the "Tiger Team" and stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in that connection met the $1000 threshold. On the loans, the argument is that "lacking actual evidence of corrupt intent, the government attempts to shoe horn a narrative into the otherwise innocuous facts that are in evidence." Watch this site.

The trial: the defense opening statement and first witness, here, and Inner City Press question to Calk on Scaramucci, here (& Alamy photo here)

On June 29 came the cross examination  of Anthony Scaramucci, which Inner City Press live tweeted here and below, (podcast here) Song I here.

On July 12 the jury got the case late in the afternoon, and will be deliberating on July 13. Inner City Press live tweeted, here from the defense summation and US rebuttal:

Calk's lawyer: The question is, Would Mr. Calk think that getting foot in the door for a Tiger Team interview, which some got for free, would constitute a bribe? No.  Let's turn to bank bribery. They have to prove corrupt intent.

Calk's lawyer: Mr. Calk had to sit through this trial behind a mask. But there is a face behind that mask. He has a life outside this courtroom. My time is almost up. I could on you to think, when the government rebuts, what would the defense say? Say, Not guilty

US rebuttal summation, AUSA: I don't have time to respond to everything the defense said. But I don't have to - you know what happened here. Look at how the loans were stalled until the election - then they moved forward.

 AUSA Rothman: The defense showed you a spaghetti chart. Did you see Steve Bannon on it? Calk sent one email to Steve Bannon - but did Mr. Bannon do anything? I can sent an email to Santa Claus. What does it mean?

 AUSA: This is a case about a corrupt CEO, a bank chairman, who took advantage of his power to try to buy more more. The idea that he didn't value Manafort's help is disingenuous. You saw how greedy he was, in his texts with Mr. Scaramucci

 AUSA: He valued this, he wanted this. And one person got him in the door: Mr. Manafort. The case person he was giving $16 million in loans to. 

Judge Schofield: You are about to go into the jury room. You are not to consider the reaction of the parties or public  Judge Schofield: The three alternate jurors will not be in the jury room, until they are asked to replace a juror. Then deliberations would re-start. First, elect a foreperson...If you have questions, please be specific.

And the jurors left for the day, to resume with deliberation on July 13 - when he was found guilty.

The case is US v. Calk, 19-cr-366 (Schofield)



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