Man Win’s Federal Probation (Supervised Release) Violation Hearing
An elderly man near the end of his 5-year, federal supervised term faced an alleged violation in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Unwilling to admit violating the terms and conditions of his probation (as most people do), the man demanded a hearing and retained Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to defend him in this matter. In June 2009, the man received an initial sentence of 30 months in prison, followed by 5 years or 60 months of supervised release and restitution of $360,000 following his guilty plea to bank fraud. In September 2015, he violated the terms of his supervised release by associating with known felons and applying for a bank loan without notifying the court. For this first violation, the Court sentenced him to serve an additional 6 months in prison and extended his supervised release by 4 years or 48 months. With his supervised release set to expire in April 2020, he faced a second alleged violation for making false statements to his probation officer, failing to notify U.S. Probation of a change in employment, and engaging in any business, occupation or profession, without prior approval from Probation. These alleged violations followed the man’s voluntary disclosure of voluminous documentation to Probation demonstrating, on its face, various business proposals, profit sharing and service agreements, articles of incorporation, correspondence, and more. A review of these materials led Probation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to conclude the man was involved in multiple business ventures, which they believed were similar to his prior fraudulent conduct from 2009. Accordingly, they filed notice of violation and sought the man’s reincarceration for 10 months. Attorney Calcagni proceeded to a hearing to dispute the government’s claims. Strategically, he stipulated to all of the government’s proposed exhibits, which consisted of his client’s documentation. He then placed his client on the witness stand to explain the documentation and that his actions amounted solely to research, and not any actual or measurable business activity. The man was not employed, had not earned a single dollar from his activity, and his so-called companies had no assets or liabilities. Attorney Calcagni argued to the Court that his client was a man of big dreams and ideas, but with no realization. Following oral argument for and against a finding of violation, the Court mainly sided with the defense, but concluded that because the man purchased some sample merchandise, he had engaged or demonstrated an intent, in some form, of unapproved business activity. Notwithstanding, the Court let the man off with a stern warning and adjourned the matter without imposing any additional punishment.