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UN Briber Heidi Hong Piao Waives Conflict of Interest of Lawyer As SDNY Soft on Guterres

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Patreon

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Feb 23 – Francis Lorenzo used his position as UN Ambassador for the Dominican Republic to take and pay bribes for a Macau "UN South South Development Conference Center proposed by now incarcerated Ng Lap Seng.

   Lorenzo was given a sentence of time served, which was twenty days in detention, by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Vernon S. Broderick.

     It was what the US Attorney's Office essentially recommended, calling Lorenzo a model cooperating witness. This despite acknowledging that Lorenzo had to "re-plead" guilty when it emerged he had not disclosed his receipt of bribes.   Assistant US Attorney Douglas S. Zolkind at sentencing praised Lorenzo for example for always appearing in a three-piece suit.

  It then emerged that this same prosecution team asked for yet another six months delay in sentencing another briber in the case, Heidi Hong Piao. Now, they held a Curcio hearing on February 23. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

Judge Broderick says, "Ms Piao, I understand English is not your first language. Do you want a Chinese language interpreter?"

This "Curcio" hearing is triggered by the fact that Piao's defense lawyer Jamie Gottlieb Furia is trying to do work as a prosecutor. This is not the only case of this conflict. Piao is preparing to waive the conflict of interest.

Judge Broderick: Explain to me in your own words your understanding of the possible conflict here.

Piao: She is seeking employment with the US Attorney's Office. At this stage, she has only applied. She has represented me for 5 years. Judge: Fantastic.

Judge Broderick: You could consult with another lawyer, other than Michael B. Himmel. I could appoint a CJA lawyer. Do you understand?

Piao: Yes I do your Honor.

Next step in the case: sentencing.

The US has asked: the Government respectfully requests, without objection from the defendant, that the Court hold a hearing pursuant to United States v. Curcio, 680 F.2d 881 (2d Cir. 1982), which the Government believes need not be held prior to sentencing, unless the Court wishes to do so."

After?? Untransparent, like the office's refusal to release their exhibits or even timely docket and unseal documents in the  crypto currency fraud case  of OneCoin even as yet another fraudulent coin is sold with UN images.

  Now this, a year later, for more delay while other defendants are process and their temporary release, even to funerals of family members, are opposed by the Office: "Re: United States v. Heidi Hong Piao, 15-cr-706 (VSB) Dear Judge Broderick: This law firm represents Heidi Hong Piao in the above-referenced matter. With the consent of the government (via Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal), we write to request a three-month adjournment of Ms. Piao’s sentencing date, which is currently scheduled for December 4, 2020 (Dkt. Entry No. 966). We make this request due to medical issues that Ms. Piao is currently facing. I have explained the details of the medical issues to Mr. Richenthal, and he has consented to our request. Should the Court require additional information, I would be happy to submit a letter under seal or to speak by phone. Respectfully yours, /s/ Jamie Gottlieb Furia Jamie Gottlieb Furia cc: Daniel Richenthal, Assistant U.S. Attorney."

     Judge Broderick before giving Francis Lorenzo the time served sentence said there was a need for general deterrence. But neither he nor Zolkind even mentioned an after arising UN bribery case, for which Patrick Ho of CEFC China Energy was convicted by SDNY Judge Loretta A. Preska.    

Judge Broderick did impose two years of supervised release, and 250 hours of community service.

    Afterward Inner City Press sought to ask Lorenzo a question but was told by his lawyerBrian H. Bieber that Lorenzo would not answer questions.

    So Inner City Press asked Bieber how Lorenzo would do his community service and when Lorenzo last saw and communicated with Carlos Garcia, the former El Salvador ambassador shown in the trial before Judge Broderick to have helped launder money for Lorenzo.

  Bieber said he would ask Lorenzo, and perhaps get back to Inner City Press, which has reported and will continue to report on these cases. This case is US v. Lorenzo, 15-cr-706 (Broderick).


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