Tuesday May 22, 2012 : ABSOLUTE POKER CO-FOUNDER SENTENCING DELAYED (Update)
Could this mean a heavier sentence?
Absolute Poker co-founder Brent Beckley, who has entered a guilty plea on charges under the Black Friday indictments will have to wait a little longer to hear what his punishment is to be. The presiding judge, Lewis Kaplan, has postponed sentencing from May 21 to June 28, 2012.
Media reporters started digging for a reason when the sentencing did not take place as expected yesterday, and were pointed to an order by the judge which appears to suggest an "upward departure" may be necessary because there is "….an aggravating circumstance in this case of a kind, or to a degree, not adequately taken into consideration by the Sentencing Commission in formulating the guidelines."
The judge's order goes on to discuss guideline USSG § 2B1.1, which "…depends heavily on the loss amount, which is defined in terms of ‘the reasonably foreseeable pecuniary harm,’ and notes that the government acknowledges that it is not in a position to establish pecuniary harm in view of the nature of the offenses of conviction.”
However, Judge Kaplan points out that the Presentence Report makes plain that the defendant [Beckley] "….deliberately and unlawfully conspired to circumvent, and circumvented, governing laws of the United States in order to conduct or facilitate an unlawful business or businesses involving billions of dollars from which those businesses gained many millions of dollars. The failure of the guideline so heavily dependent on loss amount to fix an appropriate sentencing range in a case like this may warrant an upward departure."
Judge Kaplan therefore moved sentencing to June 28, telling defendant that if he desires to make a representation on an upward departure he must do so before June 8, and extending the same opportunity to the government prosecutors, who must make any submission by June 25.