Archive | vulnerable victim

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

The Boss From Hell

United States v. Sabhnani, No. 08-3720-cr (2d Cir. March 25, 2010) (Wesley, Livingston, CJJ, Restani, JCIT)

The defendants, husband and wife, were convicted of forced labor, harboring aliens, peonage and document servitude, both substantive and conspiracy. The wife received an eleven-year sentence, while the husband was sentenced to forty months. The court also imposed fines and restitution and ordered the forfeiture of their home. The defendants raised several issues on appeal, not all of which are summarized here, but won relief only on a restitution issue.


The facts of this case are quite disturbing. The defendants lived very comfortably, along with their children, in a large house on Long Island from which the husband ran a successful export business. Beginning in 2002, with the help of the wife’s mother, the defendants brought two women to the United States from Indonesia to serve as household servants. Their treatment of the …

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Categories: restitution, Uncategorized, vulnerable victim

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Friday, February 6th, 2009


United States v. Irving, No. 07-1312-cr (2d Cir. January 28, 2009)(Kearse, Sack, Raggi, CJJ)

Stefan Irving is a former physician who was convicted, after a jury trial, of child pornography offenses, and several other counts relating to his travel to Mexico and Honduras to engage in sexual acts with children. The district court sentenced him to 262 months’ imprisonment, the top of the Guideline range. A 2005 Second Circuit decision disposed of his trial-related claims. This opinion, which arose in the context of the district court’s decision to adhere to the original sentence after a Crosby remand, disposes of his sentencing claims.

Irving’s Guidelines claims are not particularly interesting. First, he unsuccessfully challenged the district court’s choice of Chapter 2 offense conduct guidelines, but the court’s choices were clearly correct under the relevant instructions in the Guidelines manual.

He also challenged the “vulnerable victim” enhancement, claiming that his victims’ vulnerability …

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Categories: child pornography, double jeopardy, Uncategorized, vulnerable victim

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Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Support Hose

United States v. Kerley, No. 08-1818-cr (2d Cir. September 25, 2008) (Jacobs, Pooler, CJJ, Restani, JCIT)

Clifford Kerley was convicted, after a jury trial, of two counts of willfully evading a child support obligation – one for each of his twin daughters – in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 228(a)(3). On appeal, he successfully argued that the indictment against him was multiplicitous, because it charged him in two counts, even though he had been subject to a single support order. He also prevailed on his argument that the “vulnerable victim” enhancement should not apply.

1. Multiplicity

An indictment is multiplicitous when it charges a single offense as an offense multiple times, in separate counts, when in law and fact, only one crime has been committed. Kerley’s argument that he only committed a single violation of § 228(a)(3) turned on whether the “unit of prosecution” for that offense is the support …

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Categories: multiplicity, Uncategorized, vulnerable victim

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