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In Attorney Steering Prosecution For Nov 13 Trial in White Plains a Nov 21 Phone in FPTC

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 15 – 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 June 6 a telephone conference was held - without any listen-only public access line included in the notice.

Now in September, "TRIAL ORDER as to Dionisio Figueroa, Telesforo Del Valle, Jr. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that a FIRM Trial date is set in this case. The jury trial in this case shall begin on Monday, November 13, 2023, at 9:30 a.m., in WHITE PLAINS, New York before the Honorable Mae A. D'Agostino; it is further ORDERED that all counsel appear before the undersigned at a final pretrial conference on, to be held via Telephone Conference, on Friday, November 3, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.; Dial-in instructions for the conference call will be provided to counsel separately" - but will the public and press be told of the dial-in number?

On September 15, the trial date changed: "NOTICE OF HEARING as to Dionisio Figueroa, Telesforo Del Valle, Jr. This trial was scheduled to begin in White Plains on 11/13/23 at 9:30 a.m. Judge D'Agostino had to reset the date. The NEW FIRM Trial date is Monday, December 4, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. in WHITE PLAINS. (Jury Trial set for 12/4/2023 at 09:30 AM before District Judge Mae A D'Agostino)."

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


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