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UN Briber Piao Got Time Served Inner City Press Opposed Sealing, Now Will Be Unsealed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Podcast

SDNY COURTHOUSE, April 1 – 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.

  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.

 On March 5, Judge Broderick held the sentencing, and gave Heidi Piao "time served," with a reference to her being subjected to ridicule. Inner City Press live tweeted it, here.

  Then on March 24 Heidi Piao's lawyer wrote to Judge Broderick, seeking approval to withhold from the docket even her "statement of the case" - a case which involves bribing the UN.

  On the March 24, in the evening, Inner City Press wrote to Judge Broderick opposing the sealing of these judicial documents, citing the public interest in ending or at least exposing to public view UN corruption.

  Two days later on March 26, Judge Broderick docketed Inner City Press' letter, here, and gave Heidi Piao's counsel until April 9 to provide its legal justification for filings these documents under seal.

Now on April 1, Piao's lawyer has said it will unseal: "This office represents Defendant Heidi Hong Piao in the above-captioned matter. We write in response to Your Honor’s March 26, 2021 Order on Ms. Piao’s application regarding redactions to the defense sentencing submission. (Dkt. Entry 998). Upon further reflection, and discussion with the Government, Ms. Piao will not seek to maintain under seal the exhibits to the sentencing submission. Instead, consistent with Your Honor’s ruling on the sentencing memorandum, we will file a redacted version of the exhibits. The redactions will only pertain to Ms. Piao’s medical records, treatment, and diagnosis, as well as any personal identifying information (e.g., mailing address, email address) about the individuals who submitted letters of support to this Court. In accordance with Your Honor’s Order, we will file the redacted sentencing memorandum and accompanying exhibits on or before April 9, 2021." Watch this site.

     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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