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For Wire Fraud G Herbo Co Defendants Plead Not Guilty 2 Year Minimum More This Week

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

FEDERAL COURT, Dec 7 –    Herbert Wright a/k/a rapper G Herbo and five others have been indicted on charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

While G Herbo is set to be arraigned on December 9, others appeared - by Zoom - on December 7. Inner City Press, which has covered the #6ix9ine and Casanova cases in the SDNY, live tweeted this one:

U.S. Magistrate Judge Katherine A. Robertson presiding, warns Joseph Williams, Steven Hayes, Demario Sorrells and Bender: Anything you say could be used against you.  

For DOJ: Andrew Tyler of DOJ's Criminal Division’s Fraud Section (Michelle Pascucci left DOJ on Friday, is said to be disappointed not to be on case)  Judge Robertson: All the defendants are paying their own lawyers except for Demario Sorrells, he's found entitled to publicly-funded lawyer, appointed.  AUSA: The bail reports prepared by our own Pre-Trial Services departments are just coming in...

Judge: The statute says conditions of release can be modified on new info or new evidence. I'm looking to confirm they get detention hearings in Chicago. That's what the statute calls for. 

DOJ said "Antonio Strong, 28, Herbert Wright, 25; Demario Sorrells, 34; Steven Hayes, 28; Joseph Williams, 28; and Terrance Bender, all from the Chicago area" - but Bender had bail hearing in Georgia, and is there today. 

Deputy Melissa Rivera: Mr. Williams, you are charged with wire fraud and aggravated ID theft, in violation of 18 USC 1028(a)&2, how do you plead? 
A: Not guilty. 

Bender, Zoom-ing in from Georgia, also pleads not guilty, in a black and purple sweatshirt. Judge is now reading the script from the (relatively) new Due Process Protection Act. Judge: From what I understand of this case, there will be extensive discovery?

AUSA: Yes, it's massive - credit card info, info of corporate victims defrauded by the defendants. Search warrants for phones and social media accounts.  [Inner City Press would and will ask: what's venue hook to Western Massachusetts?]

AUSA: We would ask for 2 months for the so-called automatic discovery. Judge: Tell the defendants what the possible sentences are. AUSA: The guidelines based on fraud loss up to $1.5 million. Offense level of 29 (after a trial, as to Mr. Strong), 25 for others. 

AUSA: Offense level would reduce level by three. But two year sentence would be mandatory. Judge: Our local rules require the US to make automatic disclosure under Rule 16. 

Now choosing next date in the case: Feb 24 at 3:30 pm with time under the Speedy Trial Act excluded through then. 

 Sorrells' lawyer says he has a plan to travel, he'll be making a motion.

Judge says she'll hear any opposition at that time, given the charges. 

Judge: Anything further?

Defense lawyers: No. AUSA: No.

The DOJ had said, "Chicago-Area Rappers Indicted in Nationwide Fraud Conspiracy Six defendants charged with using stolen credit cards to pay for private jet and yacht charters, private chefs, security guards, luxury hotels and designer puppies – Six Chicago-area men have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Springfield with participating in a nationwide wire fraud and identity theft scheme that victimized businesses across the United States.  Antonio Strong, 28; Herbert Wright, 25; Demario Sorrells, 34; Steven Hayes, 28; Joseph Williams, 28; and Terrance Bender, all from the Chicago area, were charged in an indictment unsealed yesterday on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.... Wright self-surrendered in the Central District of California. The defendants will make initial appearances in federal court in Springfield on Dec. 7, 2020."

For G Herbo, it's December 9. Watch this site.


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