U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

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Ex-Aide for Gov. Cuomo Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

If a judge says your argument is "unmitigated poppycock," you and your client are in trouble.

And so it was for Joseph Percoco and his lawyers at his sentencing hearing. Judge Valerie Caproni was not persuaded by their argument; she gave him six years.

Percoco was a former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Now he is a convicted felon with a history of poppycock.

Former NY Lawmaker Convicted of Corruption Charges -- Again

What a difference a new trial makes.

Well, not for Dean Skelos and his son. The former New York Senate Majority Leader and son Adam Skelos were convicted of corruption charges -- again.

After a faulty jury instruction in their first trial, they got another chance. Different jury, same verdict.

Prosecutors Can't Abuse Warrants to Question Witnesses

Alexina Simon didn't know why police wanted her for questioning, still she cooperated.

Eighteen hours later, they let her go because she didn't have any useful information. She sued for false arrest, but a trial judge dismissed because the police had a "witness warrant."

That's how they do things in New York. Not in Simon v. City of New York, said the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Court Reverses Backyard Search

No thanks to himself, Robert Alexander got lucky.

Shortly after three in the morning, he was outside his house with a bottle of vodka in his hand standing next to a car when police officers approached. They saw drugs in the vehicle and arrested the passengers.

"Out of respect," Alexander, a convicted felon, told the officers, he was "just going to put the liquor bottle in the back." Naturally the officers checked his backyard and found two guns, but Alexander got a break in United States of America v. Alexander.

Martin Shkreli likely won't be remembered for committing securities fraud, even though he was just sentenced to seven years in a federal prison for exactly that. Not surprisingly, the public is celebrating his federal prison sentence. Naturally, he plans on appealing to the Second Circuit.

Shkreli rose to infamy when he, and his pharmaceutical company, made the decision to raise the price of a lifesaving drug by over 5,000 percent. Seemingly overnight Shkreli became the "pharma bro" and a household name to be hated. And Shkreli didn't seem to self-reflect or introspect, but rather doubled down on being obnoxious, and becoming more hated. However, despite the Shkreli persona we've all grown accustomed to hating, in court at his sentencing, he attempted to appear sympathetic without his characteristic smirk ... then he spoke.

Former Hedge Fund Exec Charged With Fraud in NY Federal Court

Michael Cohen, a former executive of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, made a bad loan and a worse decision afterwards.

According to an indictment in New York, he conspired to commit investment adviser fraud and other crimes when the borrower couldn't repay the loan. It was a personal loan that didn't directly involve Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, which had already settled charges it bribed African officials for business.

But for Cohen, a rising star in the company, it was a meteoric decline from the days when he made enough money to buy himself a 900-acre estate in London. The good news for him is, he still lives there.

Court Affirms Child Porn Conviction Against Former Bank Executive

Charles Familetti, Jr. had serious problems before federal officers walked into his apartment.

Familetti was waiting for an 11-year-old boy to arrive and have sex with him. When an FBI task force showed up instead, Familetti had a panic attack.

They settled him down, said he could leave, but asked for his help finding people "who are raping children." Familetti agreed, and that's when his legal problems started in United States of America v. Familetti.

NY Flight Attendant Charged With Smuggling Large Sums of Cash

Jackie was smuggling money on flights for Ordell, but he was balking at her 15 percent "management" fee.

Manager's get 10 percent, Ordell said. "No, that's an agent," Jackie retorted. "Manager gets 15 percent."

Oh, you saw that movie? Maybe Scott McKinney saw it, too, because he got busted for smuggling money on commercial airlines. Only, McKinney's not getting a management fee. He's probably getting five years.

If you didn't hear about Earl O'Garro, the former insurance broker who swindled the City of Hartford, it might not come as much of a surprise to find out that his appeal was denied. However, even if you had been closely following the story, it still likely wouldn't come as much of a surprise that his Second Circuit appeal was denied.

O'Garro had sought a reversal of his conviction and a remand or retrial, as a result of an allegedly improper jury instructions, or, alternatively, due to ineffective assistance of counsel. Notably, the jury returned their verdict in an hour, finding O'Garro guilty of mail and wire fraud.

Court Rejects Hedge Funder Case Against U.S. Attorney

David Ganek, who ran a $4 billion hedge fund, would have you believe this is a day that will live in infamy.

With his lawsuit thrown out by a federal appeals court, Ganek appealed to the court of public opinion. He said government agents -- including former U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara -- lied to get a search warrant of his offices.

"This is a dangerous day for private citizens and a great day for ambitious, attention-seeking prosecutors who are now being rewarded with total immunity even when they lie and leak," Ganek said in a statement.

He was half right, anyway.