An appeal was made by the accused man as limited by his motion, from four sentences of the County Supreme Court upon his convictions of four counts of grand larceny in the second degree, upon his pleas of guilty, the sentences being concurrent indeterminate prison terms of two to six years on each count.
In four separate criminal indictments, the accused was charged with a total of 42 counts of grand larceny in the second degree, 3 counts of grand larceny in the third degree and 1 count of scheme to defraud in the second degree. He agreed to plead guilty to four counts of grand larceny in the second degree in exchange for the trial court’s promise to impose an indeterminate term of 2 1/3 to 7 years incarceration on each count, the sentences to run concurrently. In the event full restitution in the total sum of $500,000 (the losses suffered by the victims of the larcenies) was made to all the complainants named in the indictments, the court promised to impose concurrent, indeterminate prison terms of 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years. The record does not reflect any other promises made by the court to the accused man at the time the pleas of guilty were entered. Since restitution was not complete as of the date of sentence, the court was not bound to fulfill its promise to impose the lesser sentences. Although the accused man’s counsel has recently written the court to indicate that the court-appointed receiver has now accumulated sufficient funds to make restitution to those who were promised restitution, there is still no basis for the court to rule that the sentencing court abused its discretion or exercised it in an inappropriate manner when it imposed sentence more than two years ago.
The record also indicates that, from the outset, the accused man understood that his cooperation in criminal investigations conducted by various law enforcement agencies might not lead to a reduction in the sentences which the court promised to impose at the time the pleas of guilty were entered. It is noteworthy that at the time the pleas were accepted, the court was not informed of the fact that the accused man had begun to cooperate with various law enforcement offices. The prosecutor and the Office of the United States Attorney complied with their respective promises to the accused to bring the nature and the extent of the accused man’s cooperation to the sentencing court’s attention. Neither the prosecutor’s nor the Assistant United States Attorney’s recommendation that the accused be sentenced to a term of probation, in light of the services he provided, was binding on the sentencing court, as was obviously well known to the accused who is a former attorney. Nevertheless, the court did reduce the maximum term of the promised sentence by one year and the minimum term by four months.
Subsequent to the sentencing, the accused man entered into a further agreement with the County District Attorney’s Office to cooperate with that office and various State and Federal law enforcement agencies in exchange for advice by the District Attorney to judicial authorities he should not receive a custodial sentence. The letter of understanding from the District Attorney obligated the accused man to give truthful and accurate information and testimony.
The United States Attorney has written to the District Attorney to inform her that the accused man has intentionally provided false, misleading and incomplete information. The letter from the United States Attorney reads in part that following the accused man’s sentencing, he was continued to be debriefed by the United States Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agents. Also, he continued to testify before the grand jury. In June, 1984, the accused man entered into a supplemental cooperation agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office.
After having engaged in extensive efforts to corroborate the information provided by the accused and having carefully reviewed his statements and grand jury testimony, the United States Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies have determined that the accused has breached his agreements to cooperate fully and to provide complete, truthful and accurate information and testimony. More specifically, these offices have found that he has intentionally provided false, misleading and incomplete information and testimony. To be sure, the Attorney’s Office does not mean to suggest that it found all information provided by the accused to be false or misleading. On the contrary, the investigations have revealed that the accused man did provide substantial information that proved to be truthful. However, because he flagrantly violated his agreements to provide full and complete cooperation, he seriously compromised the ability to use him as a witness or otherwise fruitfully use the information he provided. In sum, it is the opinion of the United States Attorney’s Office and the law enforcement agencies that the information provided by the accused man ultimately has, at best, marginal prosecutive value. Thus, if his sentencing were to take place, the Attorney’s Office would not recommend that the Court not impose a term of imprisonment.
As a result, the District Attorney’s Office has deemed its letter of understanding void and recommends that the sentences be affirmed.
Finally, the court cannot accept the accused man’s contention that the sentencing court’s conversation with some of the accused man’s victims, which was on the record but outside the presence of defense counsel and the prosecutor, violated his right to due process. The victims had appeared at a scheduled sentencing date for the accused and were informed by the Sentencing Judge that the accused man’s application for an adjournment had been granted earlier in the day to enable him to continue his attempts to make restitution. The Sentencing Judge merely gave those victims present the opportunity to express dissatisfaction with her decision to grant an adjournment of the sentencing date and to state what impact the accused man’s offenses had upon them. No accusations of impropriety were asserted by those present against the Sentencing Judge that would have required her to exercise superhuman objectivity in order to subsequently sentence the accused fairly and evenhandedly. The fact that the Judge informed the complainants that the accused man was going to jail even if he did make restitution does not evidence bias and a predisposition to impose a sentence of incarceration regardless of the accused man’s cooperation, for the court it was merely informing the victims of the plea-bargain sentencing promise. Although the Judge was aware that the accused was cooperating with law enforcement officials, the said officials had not yet assessed the veracity of the accused man’s information. The morning prior to sentencing, law enforcement officials, in an in camera proceeding, fully informed the Sentencing Judge of the nature and the extent of the accused man’s cooperation. The Sentencing Judge indicated that she was still inclined to impose a jail sentence but stated that she would further consider his cooperation and the imposition of a sentence of probation. Therefore, the remark that the accused man was going to jail, does not support his contention that the court did not intend to take into consideration the services he furnished in pending criminal investigations.
All of the circumstances related lead to the conclusion that there should be an affirmance.
People who committed multiple crimes obviously contemplated on doing them. Some end up being in the government’s side to solve bigger crimes that involve most wanted persons. If you want to hire the Kings County Criminal Lawyer or the Kings County Grand Larceny Attorney contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates. A Kings County Robbery Lawyer can also assist you in exploring your legal options.