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In Attorney Steering Prosecution Judge Set November 13 Trial now Bid for Waiver of FRP

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 22 – On a daily basis, defendants are brought into court and either get appointed counsel or choose to pay a private attorney, if they can.

But this system can be gamed. 

   March 30, 2023 saw "charges against DIONISIO FIGUEROA, a/k/a “Dionicio,” an employee of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (“the SDNY District Court”), and TELESFORO DEL VALLE, JR., a/k/a “Ted,” a criminal defense attorney practicing in the SDNY District Court and elsewhere, for their participation in a scheme in which FIGUEROA referred criminal defendants to DEL VALLE and encouraged those defendants to retain DEL VALLE as counsel in exchange for cash payments from DEL VALLE to FIGUEROA.  FIGUEROA was arrested, and DEL VALLE surrendered earlier today, and both will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause in the SDNY District courthouse in White Plains, New York." 

  Inner City Press, which closely covers the Magistrate Court, had in 2022 reported the investigation against Del Valle, and on March 30 wondered why the defendants were presented in White Plains.  

On April 10, U.S. District Court Judge Mae A. D'Agostino set a November 13 trial date.

On May 22, the Federal Defender's office for the Northern District of New York wrote to Judge D'Agostino in Albany asking that the requirement of a financial responsible person as co-signer be waived, as Figueroa while living in East Harlem with people of "modest means" is barred from speaking with SDNY employees who might co-sign.

 On April 14, Figueroa's conditions were slightly modified: "ORDER as to Dionisio Figueroa: ORDERS that the Government's motion to modify Defendant's bond (Dkt. No. 25) is GRANTED; and the Court further ORDERS that the March 30, 2023 Order on the conditions of release is amended as follows: (1) Section (7)(g) of the "ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS OF RELEASE" is modified to state that the Defendant must "avoid all contact, directly or indirectly, with any person who is or may be a victim or witness in the investigation or prosecution, including: CODEFENDANTS OR COCONSPIRATORS. "Witnesses" here includes current or former clients and current or former employees of Mr. Del Valle, and current or former employees of the U.S. District Court for the SDNY, except that Defendant may receive official correspondence from the Clerk of the Court and the Court's Human Resources Department; and he may communicate with the same regarding any official matters that are related to his employment and unrelated to the facts of this case."; and (2) that all of the other conditions of bail set forth in the March 30, 2023 Order are to remain the same and in full force and effect. (Signed by District Judge Mae A D'Agostino on 4/14/2023)."

The case is US v. Figueroa et al.. 23-cr-161 (D'Agostino)


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