f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 3, 2006

more misplaced mercy from judge murtha

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:06 am

A month ago, we opined that J. Garvan Murtha, Chief Judge of

the U.S. District Court, Vermont, seems far too lenient to lawyer-

felons.  We gave examples from two recent cases.

 

 scales over

 

Well, he’s done it again, in the Andrew J. Capoccia Debt Reduction

fraud case — giving a one-month sentence to Thomas J. Daly, who

was one of the three main actors in a scheme that has left thousands

of clients with ruined financial histories and over $25 million in futile

claims for misappropriated monies by the Capoccia Law Centers of

Albany, N.Y., and (after Capoccia’s disbarment), its successor Law

Centers of Consumer Protection, in Bennington, Vermont.

 

The Rutland Herald reported yesterday (“Lawyer Admits Guilt in

Fraud,” Feb. 2, 2006):


“A former lawyer for a bankrupt debt-reduction firm in Bennington

is heading for a month in federal prison on fraud and tax evasion

charges.  ‘I am so sorry,’ Thomas J. Daly, 44, of Bennington, told

Judge J. Garvan Murtha on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in

Rutland. ‘I did commit these crimes. I’m sorry for it’.”

 

” ‘You certainly played a role in the victimization of the people who

depended on you to do something for them'” Murtha told Daly . .

 

“The judge then sentenced Daly to one month in prison followed

by three years of supervised release, with three months of that time

to be served on house arrest. In addition, Daly was ordered to pay

$200,000 restitution. 

                                                                                   “emptypocketsS”

 

“In his plea agreement, Daly acknowledged that he accepted nearly

$200,000 in bonuses — in addition to his $200,000 salary — at a

time when clients were demanding refunds of at least $1 million and

creditors of the firm were seeking even more. 

 

“The money for the bonuses came from an escrow account and the

firm’s general accounts. According to federal prosecutors, Daly knew

or should have known that the firm was not capable of supporting those

payments, given that the firm had been embezzling client money to pay

its day-to-day expenses.”

As with the sentencing of his disbarred co-conspirator Howard Sinnott in

December, Daly’s role in this complicated, well-planned rip-off of consumers

who were trying to avoid bankruptcy (and the subsequent hiding of millions of

dollars sought by NYS and the federal government to compensate the victims

and creditors), was blamed on a personal flaw.  Here, Daly’s defense counsel 

told the court “that his client’s life had been ravaged by alcoholism, contributing

greatly to his legal problems.”

 


According to today’s Albany Times Union, Andrew J. Capoccia the disbarred 

mastermind of the debt reduction scheme (explained in a prior post), is expected 

to be sentenced today by Judge Murtha.  (“Capoccia faces sentencing today,”

Feb. 3, 2006).  Although Capoccia, who was convicted after trial last year,

could receive up to 20 years, Judge Murtha’s wrist-slaps to his co-conspirators

suggests we may see more “professional courtesy” mercy.   We’ll keep you

apprised.

 

update (Feb. 3, 2006): See Capoccia gets 15 years for swindling clients .

 



“snowflakeS”  For better judgment, consider the haiku and

senryu of our Honored Guest buddy Ed Markowski:

 

 




             roller coaster

                we have no advice

                    to offer the newlyweds

 

 

 

 

 




          county fair…

             the downcast eyes

               of a blue ribbon steer

 



 

rollercoaster

 

 






 

                  midwinter dusk

                      a fireman turns

                         to face the flames

 


“midwinter dusk” – Mainichi Daily (#680, Feb. 2, 2006)

                                                                                                                                            scales rich poor neg

 

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