Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Notes from Bobrick Sentencing

The court calendar for today was not up on the US District Court's webpage last night, so I guessed the sentencing would begin at 9am. This morning it was up - 8:30. I got to court around 8:50am and the guards at security told me the court was sealed. As I got up the stairs everyone was waiting outside the courtroom. Lucky me.

These are my notes from court today in the sentencing of Bill Bobrick. Actually, I don't even know what he was charged with since there wasn't a trial. He confesse, made an agreement with the government and has worn a wire for them. He testified in the Anderson trial. Judge Sedwick has been the judge for all the trials, so he has been able to see how the various defendants who are cooperating with the government have contributed to the evidence against those who have gone to court. Bobrick was the first of these cooperating defendants to be sentenced. Others that I know of are Bill Allen and Rick Smith of Veco and Frank Prewitt.

As always I offer a WARNING here. These are my court notes - as fast as my ears could hear, my brain could interpret, and my fingers could type. But a lot is missing. This is not a transcript, but a sketch of what was said.

Filing unsealed,
Bobrick wore a wire about people still under investigation.
[Based on his voice, it seems Judge Sedwick has a cold.]

Pope: First talk about Threat, document filed in public. Then argue for additional downward departure.

Clear that Bobrick told so many people he’d committed a crime, his wife in 3rd year in medical school. Tom Anderson and wife, had socialized in 2004-6 time period, When clear that he was cooperating, Bobrick got phone call from Lesil that she would take steps to prevent Jessica’s medical license in AK. She got Jessica’s phone number.

Then Bobrick called Bottini, understood Lesils calls to be threats, as state senator and daughter of Dr. McGuire. FBI interviewed them and phone message, and contacted Stockler [Anderson attorney] this was violation of condition of release. These threats were credible (Bobrick’s belief). We think govt will agree. Govt took contact seriously. Bobrick was when he continued cooperating against Anderson, was subject to significant danger threat to his family income.

Other cases, don’t go into details those threats. [referred to other cases that took into consideration threats to witnesses] We believe this was a credible threat that should be considered and we don’t know whether it will be carried out. Jessica Bury (Bobrick) Is in 3rd year of medical school and and LM is still a State Senator.

In our view, essentially what the govt. has suggested is four level departure, under the circumstances, we believe a 6-8 level departure is warranted. No questions Bobrick’s cooperation was significant and useful. Using the Washington case a two level departure is warranted.

Govt. Could take the position that Bobrick’s testimony was not instrumental, but it was certainly useful and highly …… The evidence that Tom Anderson received $23,000 out of $24,000 came late and came from Bobrick. No question that govt would agree here, no dispute, the FBI considered Bobrick to be truthful, reliable, trustworthy. Washington court found that to be important that trustworthiness held by both govt. And fbi.

Mr. B was more than debriefed, active cooperation, wearing a wire, testified in court. My belief, when Joe Bottini did redirect of Bobrick, that is what sank TA. Anderson received over $23 of the 24K paid to Pacific Publishing.

The credible threat made by Lesill McGuire. Personally, I thought she was tampering with the witness and she should have been indicted your honor. Whether that threat is realized remains to be seen. His cooperation was timely, in our office the afternoon he was contacted, and he’d signed the agreement. I could argue for a ten level departure downward is warranted, but realistically, I’m arguing for 6-8 level departure. It would not put court or government in awkward position when it comes to sentencing Smith or Allen.

Bottini - first the communication from Lesil McGuire. It can be conceived as a threat, New Years Day this year. Tried to track down Stockler. The following day told him if that happened again we would seek the end of Anderson’s release on bond.

J: Was this recorded? [I think]

B: Asked Bobrick for his wife’s phone number in Minnesota. Was not captured in recording, but I don’t doubt Bobrick’s recollection of what she said. I have no doubt it was a veiled threat about her ability to get a medical license in AK. They knew he was cooperative at that time. For the purpose of trying to rattle his cage, which she succeeded in doing.

It’s a real shame people are saying things about you, this could affect your getting a license in AK. I think that was the purpose of Ms. McGuire saying this, she didn’t come out and say, If your husband testifies, you won’t practice medicine in the state, but it was a veiled threat and we believe that was the intent.

What should he receive. We recommended a four level downward departure. One year and a day. You saw the evidence and saw how the plan, scheme developed. Bobrick was the source of this scheme with Prewitt. He was cooperative and did everything we asked. But tempered by what he did in this. We think we could have convicted TA without him, but he did help. We think a four level departure is reasonable. One year and a day.

J: I’m wrestling now with the extent of downward departure.
First, all the requirements of ??? Are clearly met. The extent of the downward departure. The matter is a close one. Part of the reason we are here is Bobrick’s part in the case. However, I do think a departure of 5 levels is appropriate. His assistance was of high value. A question whether his testimony was - he painted a very unflattering picture of his own conduct and assisting in other investigation, his cooperation about as much as the Govt could hope to get from anybody.

About threat from TA’s wife I can’t give too much credibility, I question, in the objective sense, I doubt it very credible. But from Bobrick’s view, it could have been serious and it could have affected his cooperation, But to B.’s credit, he cooperated as much as you could ask.

The 6-8 level is clearly too much. Even the government’s 4 level departure cuts his sentence in half. Consider a level 12 instead of 16. Rather than 24-30 months applicable. $3,000 to $300000, Qualifies for split sentence, part in prison, part in half way house. But under guideline, half would have to be served in incarceration.

Pope on appropriate sentence.

First, recognizing that guidelines do recognize that half to be served in prison, but the guidelines are advisory and urge the judge order that less than half or none of the time served be in incarceration and consistent with other cases. Will proceed

If court is going to adhere to the guidelines without going out any way, that the minimum sentence - ten months, I don’t think the govt will dispute. We believe the low end is warranted. Would like to address issue we raised in memorandum

Mr. Bobrick, I’ve been doing this a long time, the court knows that, referring to old case with your honor as private attorney, so court knows I’ve been doing this along time, I’ve been trying criminal cases for 30 years, I have never seen a person charged with a crime who is better suited for a sentence focused on rehabilitation. The many letters were not pleas for mercy, but to show the court what kind of person B is and what he could do in the future for the community. If he were in a halfway house, he would have opportunity to atone for the crimes.

Whatever his sentence, even if half of the sentence in imprisonment, then five months in home confinement or half-way house. Our recommendation is 5 and 5 so he can start the process of

Our position is this an appropriate situation where Mr. B serve all in ½ way house or half in halfway house and half in imprisonment.

J. You siad you think this is a perfect candidate for home confinement and doesn’t need structure of halfway house.

Pope: He is prepared for whatever. He will atone, STAR (Stand Together Against Rape] would allow him to work on the hotline. If home confinement would allow him to go out into the community so during the day he could do a 40-60 hour a week atoning for his crime, that would be his preference. Not clear whether home confinement would be able to stay or leave home…

J: He could do whatever the conditions the court imposes.

P. Then we believe he should be allowed to leave .

J: Thank you sir.

Bottini: I sort of jumped the gun about our ultimate

It’s been a long time since I worked with a white collar criminal who was so remorseful and I think that is significant. He never batted an eyelash about his own conduct. Immediately admitted he’d done wrong and was remorseful.

10-16 months falls in there. If you fashion a sentence…… The govt. Wont’ be upset.

Bobrick: Your honor, I’d like to address my remarks to court and people of the state of Alaska. I’ve had a long time to think about this day, but I don’t really have words to convey the depths of my shame and remorse. Not just the disappointed I’ve caused to family friends, and community, but the knowledge I played a part in contributing to the idea that our political system in Alaska is corrupt. I’ll carry that scar with me the rest of my life. No matter what sentence is imposed on me today. I’ll spend the next 30 years if I live so long, making up for what I’ve done and to pay back the people who have stood by me by continuing to undue the damage I’ve done. The only thing I can do is apologize again to all the people I’ve damaged. My wife plans on practicing medicine here, I’m not going anywhere. I plan to work to regain the trust of my community.

Factors: Nature and circumstances of offense - serious, as B has just said, and I agree. There are politicians who are corrupt. TA is one who was convicted and there are others. It seems as there is not a great difference between our system of government and those other corrupt systems around the world. Corruption has a way of corroding democracy. Considering he has not considered [committed?] another crime. It appears to me Mr. B is probably the most remorseful defendant that has ever walked in the courtroom. In a sense he stands in for all of us. An example of what we ought not to do, but also what we are capable of doing. I could do pure probationary. Consider any special assistance - whether medical or other. Has no such problems his needs could be adequately met.

Has to be fair for crime committed. A sentence that was purely probationary would not be sufficient. It must also deter others.

Required to consider what is likely to protect public from Bobrick. He is the least likely to come before this court again.

Required to consider the guidelines - they are only advisory, and consider disparities. The best way to do that is to stay within guidelines that judges around the country must consider in sentencing.

I think a sentence that includes a short period of incarceration followed by short period of home confinement is acceptable.
Ten months - five in incarceration, five in home confinement.

Probation of two years. Some risk of substance abuse, must be regularly tested for substance abuse.
Conditions: home confinement five months supervised
Monitored electronically, and defendant pay, free to leave for employment, medical, religious, and community service.
In addition to substance abuse testing, andy substance abuse programs.
3. Submit to search of person on reasonable suspicion of contraband.
6. No fire arm
7. 800 hours of community service, directs probation officer to consider my do this through Star, but not limited to this.

Defendant does has ability to pay modest fine - $3000
$100 to court. $50/month or ten% of his income.

Appeal - must be taken up in ten days.

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