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Monday, December 7, 2009

New York Lawyer Gets 14 Years for Threatening Witnesses

Simels Gets 14 Years in Prison; Case Against Associate Dismissed
The New York Law Journal by Mark Fass - December 7, 2009

The prosecutions of attorney Robert Simels and his former associate Arienne Irving, both of whom were convicted in August of conspiring to threaten witnesses, came to very different conclusions on Friday. Eastern District Judge John Gleeson sentenced Mr. Simels to 14 years in federal prison and a $225,000 fine. "These are such egregious crimes," Judge Gleeson told Mr. Simels. "You need to be punished for them not because you are a member of the profession, not because it's an affront to this court. You are a criminal defendant and you committed crimes deserving of punishment that reflects the seriousness of the crimes." As for Ms. Irving, 3 1/2 hours before the sentencing, the judge granted her Rule 29 motion, throwing out the jury's verdict and dismissing her case. Ms. Irving did not attend the sentencing, instead celebrating the dismissal with her parents in midtown Manhattan. In an emotional speech before Judge Gleeson ruled, Mr. Simels, 62, was apologetic and remorseful. He spoke at length about the effects of his trial, conviction and sentencing on his young son and teenage daughter. "I have an 8-year-old son who doesn't understand," Mr. Simels said. "'How will you get there? When will you be back?' are questions without answer for an 8-year-old." Mr. Simels' attorney, Gerald Shargel, told the judge that his client was a "broken man." "You have a lot of evidence before you that Mr. Simels is a good and decent man," Mr. Shargel said.

Mr. Shargel also argued that the court need not impose a "draconian" sentence to deter other defense attorneys from threatening witnesses or obstructing justice. "The bell has been rung," Mr. Shargel said. "The message has been sent." Assistant U.S. Attorney Morris Fodeman acknowledged the "severity" of the sentencing guidelines, 30 years to life, but argued that Mr. Simels' crimes merited such a sentence. "The government submits that the circumstances of this crime demand a severe sentence," Mr. Fodeman said. "Justice demands a fair sentence." Judge Gleeson, who like Mr. Simels, is the father of two young children, was visibly and openly moved by the letters sent in support of Mr. Simels. "Some of these letters just absolutely tear at the heart," the judge told Mr. Simels, "particularly the one from your wife." The judge also said that, at sentencing, Mr. Simels should neither benefit from nor be punished for being a lawyer. Rather, he said that Mr. Simels should be punished for bribing witnesses, suborning perjury and committing perjury. Judge Gleeson denied Mr. Simels' request for bail pending appeal, but gave Mr. Simels until Jan. 8 to remand himself to prison. The judge said he would personally call the Federal Bureau of Prisons to request Mr. Simels' choice, the federal prison at Otisville, which is near Mr. Simels family in Westchester.

In a statement Friday, Eastern District U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell said, "The defendant's license entitled him to practice law—it was not a license to commit crimes. Those who attempt to subvert the criminal justice system will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with all the resources at our disposal." Ms. Irving's reversal of fortune could hardly have been more dramatic. Her attorney, Javier Solano, received a ding on his BlackBerry from the court's Electronic Court Filing system while standing in line at Starbucks. Sentencing was less than four hours away. Ms. Irving was in her parent's midtown hotel room. "I did not know if she would be walking out of that courtroom," Mr. Solano said. "She had to prepare for the worst, and that preparation was spending literally the last hours with her parents." Judge Gleeson's order, posted at 11:23 a.m., stated simply, "Defendant Irving's motion to set aside the jury verdict pursuant to Rule 29 is granted in its entirety. The case as against her is dismissed. An opinion will follow." When Mr. Solano reached Ms. Irving on her phone, she did not believe him. Mr. Solano told her, "Arienne, of all things, do you think I'd be kidding about this?" Ms. Irving's legal travails are not over: Federal prosecutors may pursue an appeal of Judge Gleeson's decision, and the Appellate Division, First Department, disciplinary committee has initiated proceedings against her. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said, "We'll review the judge's opinion and consider our options." As for the disciplinary proceedings, Mr. Solano said, "I would hope with all that she's been through they would take Judge Gleeson's opinion, considering he has heard the entire case, and use that to discontinue the proceedings." On Thursday, Ms. Irving faced disbarment and the possibility of spending a decade or more in prison. Today, her biggest problem may be that she is yet another unemployed lawyer in a depressed market. "She'll take that in a heartbeat," Mr. Solano said. Mark Fass can be reached at mfass@alm.com.

10 comments:

what about corrupt judges? said...

The only lesson here will be to be more careful. The corruption in the legal profession runs too deep. We need some judges to go down.

Anonymous said...

you should live in Niagara County, where the Friends and Felony Plan is a must........
hey George, did you tell Voutour about those gang of sheriff's, who harm whomever they want and then threaten and then make due on those threats, let me get you started
Beiter, Grear, Lombardo
Have you told Voutour?
The residents are tired of being violated by the crew in this town,
send in the gov't guys!
Do not be a witness to felonies by this crew and friends, they will spend their lives on a campaign to use anyone they can to harm you, including Maziarz

Anonymous said...

pig farmers!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

pig farmers!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

hey pig farmers, how many times can you start neighbor wars, how many times can you make fake calls to the sheriffs, how many times are residents insurances cancelled, how many times does the insurance company lawyer have to make the same type of psychopathic statements made by your insurance cheat friends........
how many times can you friends file false insurance claims before it is clear, the Nazi routine you have used, it is clear, you use Niagara County Sheriffs, the DA and anyone else you can........
felony harassment and stalking is illegal!

Anonymous said...

no wonder you can not call and out of town lawyer, how does that lawyer get briefed on the felonies,
and then say, it will be handled in town........
oh yeah, must be to cover up those felonies you just committed and violate the innocents rights but do not forget to make sure it cost them in attorney fees and their complaints go no where!
oopsies, after all that money, the time limit has expired!!

explains the threats.......
explains the last persons suicide.............
gotta love Niagara County or just make sure you commit felonies, so they got something on you......

Anonymous said...

Let's have equal justice; send the female (sow) swine to jail also. Swine come in both sexes.

Anonymous said...

hello pa, we can not pay the mortgage again
I ain't giving up my steak and cheese subs, go out and harass those neighbors and file another one of those insurance claims ma, then we can get their property cheap, cuz we will sue them....I got friends in the Felony plan in Niagara County, go ahead Ma, do the dirty deeds........

p.s. please don't tell Ma if she gets caught she is going to jail,
I do not want to be married to her anyways, saves me the support money, the jail is supporting her!

Anonymous said...

hey pig farmers, do you want to run some more illegal drains onto your neighbors property, yeah and then we can call Beiter and Brauer and the crew of crud and file false statements with the sheriff and DA and try to prosecute the witness for the next 15 years.....
hey, let us harass them and discredit them any way we can.....
hell we will spend our lives trying to get whomever we want arrested and we will use our sheriff buddies and every state agency we can all the while we continue to commit felonies........
hell we can ever look up their medical records.........
hey pig farmers your number is up..........
next time you get info you should make sure it is true!

Anonymous said...

hey, we can call up the witnesses lawyers and tell all kinds of fake stories, maybe they will alter their medical records and file false bill of particulars, so we can hold a witch hunt and get them put in jail, lets say they are on a psych rider so no one believes them.........lets get the sheriffs, DA's to continually harass them and make it cost them all kinds of money in legal fees....
oh this is so fun, we like harming others even if we commit felonies, just gives us more power the more we do it and let us harm lawyers and judges on the way, what do we care who will catch us!

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2