John C. Meringolo has the privilege of having careers in academia, entertainment, law and publishing. Currently he is a Professor of Law at Pace Law where he teaches Trial Advocacy and Federal Criminal Practice Simulation a four-credit course that he co-founded in 2013. He also teaches Trial Advocacy at New York Law School.
Mr. Meringolo has represented hundreds of clients in corporate matters, trusts and estate litigation, and criminal cases nationwide. He has gained recognition as one of the preeminent trial attorneys in New York with over 100 weeks of federal trial experience, which includes high profile RICO trials. He has represented numerous high profile clients, including Gregory DePalma, Thomas Carbinaro, Edmond Boyle, John Gotti, Jr., Frank DiMattina and Matthew Libous. He has also represented clients in large-scale narcotics trafficking cases, including Stephanie Shepard and Benito Del Rosario.
In addition to his extensive trial experience, Mr. Meringolo has argued numerous motions on Constitutional issues concerning violations of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. He has authored and argued appeals to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2014, Mr. Meringolo was appointed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeal Criminal Justice Act Panel.
Mr. Meringolo’s litigation experience includes notable cases, such as:
- Meringolo negotiated a historical $10,000,000.00 settlement for the Estate of Joseph P. Graffagnino, a New York City firefighter, who died in the infamous Deutsche Bank Building fire. The building had been damaged during the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. The New York Daily News reported, “A document filed in court states that Meringolo will take 23% of the settlement, much less than the usual one-third cut.”
- In United States v. Matthew Libous, the defense team elected to a trial by Judge. On January 26, 2015, Mr Libous was acquitted on the top 4 of seven Tax Fraud charges.
- In United States v. Ofer Biton, Judge Nicholas Garaufis denied the Government’s direct appeal and affirmed the magistrate’s order granting bail to Mr. Biton, an Israeli national, after seven bail hearings.
- In United States v. John Venizelos, Mr. Venizelos pled guilty in the Eastern District of New York to participating in a $1 billion international drug trafficking enterprise, which had been in existence for more than a decade.
- In United States v Yesid Rios Suarez, Mr. Rios Suarez pled guilty in the Southern District of New York to participating in an international conspiracy to distribute cocaine from Colombia to Venezuela, Mexico, and the United States.
- In United States v. Armando Rea, Mr. Rea was charged in a RICO indictment with the murder of Gerard Papa, a notorious member of the Genovese Crime Family; conspiracy to murder; and extortion. After extensive motion practice and defense investigation of the charges, the Government dropped the murder count. Most importantly, after jury selection, the Government dropped the RICO charges against Mr. Rea, who then pled guilty to a single count of extortion and received a sentence of probation.
- After three weeks of trial in People v. Dr. Richard Lucente, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office capitulated and dropped 151 C-Felony counts against Dr. Lucente, who subsequently pled guilty to a single count and received a non-incarceration sentence.
- On December 1, 2009, the jury trial in United States v. John A. Gotti ended in a mistrial, which ended Mr. Gotti’s four-trial saga. In the fourth and final trial, Mr. Gotti, for the first time, was charged with two murders and faced life in prison. After the mistrial on the murder counts, the Government declined to bring these murder charges or any other charges against him.
Meringolo & Associates, P. C. represents a number of corporate clients. The law firm has been instrumental in successfully negotiating contracts for various companies.
PROFESSOR OF LAW
Mr. Meringolo began teaching Trial Advocacy and Advanced Trial Advocacy at Pace Law School five years ago. In 2013, he proudly co-founded an intensive four-credit class entitled Federal Criminal Practice Simulation, in which students simulate an entire Federal criminal case, from bail hearings, pleas, evidentiary hearings, as well as all aspects of sentencing. The course provides students with the theoretical knowledge, and the practical skills to properly handle Federal criminal cases. Students also enjoy guest lectures from notable practitioners.
Mr. Meringolo has coached, and continues to coach arbitration and trial teams for Pace Law School. In 2013, the Pace Law arbitration team was a National Finalist, placing sixth out of 56 schools. In 2014, for the second year in a row, Pace Law’s arbitration team won a spot as a National Finalist for the American Bar Association competition in Chicago, once again finishing sixth out of 56 competing teams.
Since 2006, Mr. Meringolo has participated in externship and internship programs at Brooklyn Law School, New York Law School and Pace Law School. In 2010, Mr. Meringolo began teaching a Trial Advocacy Seminar at New York Law School, as an adjunct professor. In 2010, he spoke at New York Law School as part of a conference titled “The Media and Criminal Law: Fact, Fiction, and Reality TV.” The event also featured legal and media experts, including David Klass, a writer for NBC’s “Law & Order,” and Howard Gordon, the executive producer and writer of Fox’s “24.”
Also, in 2010, New York Law School’s Alumni Exposé profiled Mr. Meringolo, and interviewed his former and current student externs concerning the extensive Federal criminal defense experience that they had gained while at Meringolo & Associates, P.C.
Since 2010, Mr. Meringolo has taught each summer at the Outreach Program, instructing inner city high school students on various legal skills in the context of criminal law.
Mr. Meringolo has also taught a continuing legal education course on trial practice at New York Law School’s alumni weekend. He continues to mentor students from Brooklyn Law School, New York Law School, and Pace Law School. He is the faculty advisor for both the Italian American Association and Jewish Law Society at Pace Law School since 2012.
Mr. Meringolo was involved in a number of successful business ventures. In 1999, Mr. Meringolo served as Associate Counsel and Special Projects Coordinator for football legend Joe Montana’s magazine, “Joe Montana’s In the Redzone.” At the age of 26, from 2000 to 2001, Mr. Meringolo served as Chairman and CEO for Premier Sports Media and Entertainment Group, Inc., the New York parent company of Explosion Promotions, which promoted boxing events on ESPN and HBO.
In 2002, Mr. Meringolo published the collectible magazine, “Muhammad Ali, The Greatest,” which was authorized by Muhammad Ali. The magazine, which highlighted the career of Muhammad Ali, was hailed as a “one of a kind publication” and “the perfect gift for Ali fans, memorabilia collectors, fans of Will Smith and the ‘Ali’ movie, as well as the millions of young people who never had the opportunity to see Ali fight or understand the impact he had on society.”
In 2003, Mr. Meringolo founded a company promoting short track racing and rock concert events in conjunction with NASCAR drivers, branded as “Driven to Rock.” At the 2003 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week, Jay Rutherford, president of the Speed Truck Challenge at the time, stated “after much due diligence, we realized ‘Driven to Rock’ is the real deal and the opportunities for the Speed Truck Challenge, its owners and drivers and sponsors made present by this promotion are phenomenal.” On November 5, 2003, NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Michael Waltrip, Sterling Marlin, Jimmy Spencer, and Kenny Wallace raced in a Speed Truck Challenge “Driven to Rock” event at the 3/8-mile high-banked oval bullring at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the Pursuit of Fair and Just Sentences, Albany Law Review, 77 077 (2014).
Bail Pending Trial: Changing Interpretations of the Bail Reform Act and the Importance of Bail from Defense Attorneys’ Perspective, 32 Pace L. Rev. 3 (2012).
The Media, the Jury, and the High-Profile Defendant: A Defense Perspective on the Media Circus, N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 4. (2010/2011).
JOHN C. MERINGOLO, Esq.
375 Greenwich St. 7th Fl., New York, New York 10013 ● (212) 941-2077 ● email@example.com
Meringolo & Associates, P.C.
- Proprietor of Meringolo Law, a boutique law firm committed to providing clients with innovative legal solutions, exceptional legal representation through dedication to excellence, hard work, and fastidious, accessible, and responsive service in criminal and civil matters.
Law Office of James M. LaRossa
Of Counsel, 2003-2006
- Of Counsel to the Law Office of James M. LaRossa, Esq., one of the nation’s preeminent trial attorneys for over thirty years.
LAW REVIEW PUBLICATIONS
2014: John C. Meringolo and Anjelica Cappellino authored an article on the United States Sentencing Guidelines Post-United States v. Booker for Albany Law School, in conjunction with Albany State University’s Criminal Justice Program. The article examines the history of sentencing in the federal system, the creation and evolution of the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and the effects of the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in United States v. Booker and its progeny. The article discusses mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses, and how these statutes effectively conflict with the Guidelines’ purposes. Furthermore, the article discusses the future of federal sentencing by examining recent policy shifts, such as Attorney General Eric Holder’s expressed support of changing mandatory minimums. It also addresses pending legislative efforts, such as the Smarter Sentencing Act, which would amend mandatory minimum drug laws.
2012: Clara Kalhous & John C. Meringolo, Bail Pending Trial: Changing Interpretations of the Bail Reform Act and the Importance of Bail from Defense Attorneys’ Perspectives, 33 Pace L. Rev. 800 (2012). The article discusses the historical evolution of the bail system from the early English laws through the Bail Reform Act of 1984, and emphasizes the imperative role that the granting or denial of bail plays in every subsequent stage of a federal criminal proceeding. The article includes interviews with prominent defense attorneys, whose experiences with the current federal bail system demonstrate the flaws in the application of the Bail Reform Act and the resulting prejudice to pretrial detainees.
2011: John C. Meringolo, The Media, the Jury, and the High-Profile Defendant: A Defense Perspective on the Media Circus, 55 N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 981 (2010-11). In part, the article highlights the history of the media’s growing interest in and coverage of court cases; how the media influenced the justice system; investigates juror expectations during a case as a result of media coverage and television shows and the “CSI Effect”; and the interplay between different ethical rules regarding permissible attorney statements to the press and public. Recently, the article has been cited in three law review articles and comments regarding the Jon Benet Ramsey trial, jury nullification, and the Casey Anthony trial, respectively.
- United States v. Matthew Libous, 14-CR-448 (VLB), S.D.N.Y. – Libous was charged with one count of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and six counts of subscribing false tax returns. Mr. Libous was acquitted of the top charge and three counts of filing false tax returns. At the conclusion of trial, the final estimate of tax loss had dropped significantly to approximately $28,000.
- United States v Benito Del Rosario, 12 Cr. 81 (KBF), S.D.N.Y. – Served as lead counsel for Mr. Del Rosario, who was charged with one count of conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin. Called eight witnesses in the defense’s case-in-chief. Five-day trial to verdict in 2012.
- United States v. Frank DiMattina, 10 Cr. 705 (JBW), E.D.N.Y. – Served as lead counsel for Mr. DiMattina, an alleged Genovese Organized Crime Family associate, who was charged under the Hobbs Act with two counts of conspiracy to commit extortion, two counts of extortion, and one count of the use of a firearm in connection with the first extortion and extortion conspiracy counts. In pretrial motions, the defense argued that the jury should be precluded from hearing any evidence of organized crime. The defense also moved to suppress photographs of the defendant’s tattoos, which contained highly prejudicial language and images; and a number of pre- and post-arrest statements that the defendant made to the FBI. The Honorable Jack B. Weinstein granted all of the defense’s motions. Following a three-day jury trial, Mr. DiMattina was acquitted on both conspiracy counts and on one-extortion count in January 2012.
- United States v. Stephanie Shepard, 10 Cr. 653 (GBD), S.D.N.Y. – Served as lead counsel for Ms. Shepard, who was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana in the Southern District of New York. Shepard was also charged with two counts of making false statements. The defense’s motion for severance of the false statement counts was granted, and those counts were dropped at the conclusion of the trial. One-week trial to verdict in 2011.
- People v. Dr. Richard Lucente, Indictment No. 490-09. – Served as counsel for Dr. Lucente, who was charged in a 154-count indictment with illegally selling and prescribing anabolic steroids, and was facing up to thirty years in prison. After three weeks of trial, the prosecutors capitulated. Lucente pled guilty to one count of conspiracy and received a sentence of five years of probation. Three-week trial in 2010.
- United States v. Salvatore Romano, et al., 09 Cr. 170 (JFB), E.D.N.Y. – Served as counsel for Mr. Romano, who was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was alleged to have been a salesman for a coin-selling company that defrauded its customers of forty million dollars through false promises and misrepresentations. Disposition by plea after jury selection in 2010.
- United States v. John A. Gotti, 08 Cr.1220 (PKC), S.D.N.Y. – Served as co-counsel for Mr. Gotti, who was charged in the Middle District of Florida in a three-count racketeering (RICO) and murder indictment. After the court in Florida granted a venue change to the Southern District of New York, Mr. Gotti’s trial ended in a hung jury. Eleven-week trial to verdict in 2009.
- United States v. Gregory Depalma, et al., 05 Cr. 228 (AKH), S.D.N.Y. – Served as counsel for Mr. Depalma, who was charged in a 53-count RICO indictment. Prepared and argued motions on First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment issues, as well as in limine motions pursuant to Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 403 and 404(b). Three-week jury trial to verdict in 2006.
- United States v. John A. Gotti, et al., 04 Cr. 690 (SAS), S.D.N.Y. – Served as co-counsel for Mr. Gotti, who was charged with racketeering. Prepared all defense witnesses, and scrutinized Title III wire tapes and prison records. Three-week trial resulted in a mistrial in 2006.
- United States v. Edmund Boyle, et al., 03 Cr. 970 (SJ), E.D.N.Y. – Served as co-counsel for Mr. Boyle, the lead defendant in a RICO indictment alleging bank robberies and burglaries across the country. Prepared and argued all pre-trial and trial motions. The RICO issue presented to the District Court in pre-trial motions and preserved at trial by Mr. Meringolo and co-counsel Martin Geduldig, was granted certiorari by the United States Supreme Court and decided in June of 2009. One-week jury trial to verdict in 2005.
- United States v. Angelo Dipietro, et al., 04 Cr. 1110 (DLC), S.D.N.Y. – Served as co-counsel for Mr. Dipietro, who was charged with being a member of an Albanian organized crime group in a groundbreaking RICO indictment. Participated in all relevant trial procedures, including all pre-trial and trial motions and cross-examinations. Fourteen-week jury trial to verdict from 2005 until 2006.
- United States v. Thomas Carbonaro, et al., 02 Cr. 743 (RCC), S.D.N.Y. – Served as co-counsel for Mr. Carbonaro, who was charged in a multi-defendant RICO indictment that included charges of murder, conspiracy to murder, extortion, and loan sharking. Prepared all trial motions, cross-examinations, investigations, and summation. Seven-week jury trial to verdict in 2004.
- United States v. Vincent DeMartino, 03 Cr. 285 (RJD), E.D.N.Y. – Served as co-counsel with Mr. James M. LaRossa for Mr. DeMartino, who was charged with a RICO conspiracy to murder. Prepared opening and closing statements, cross-examinations, and all pre-trial motions. Two-week jury trial to verdict in 2004.
- Caleb Jamel Hooker v. United States, 11-CV-2840 (LGS), S.D.N.Y. – Served as trial counsel for Mr. Hooker, whose lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons alleged negligence, and violations of the Federal Tort Claims Act arising from an incident in which Mr. Hooker was assaulted by another inmate while in BOP custody as a pretrial detainee. Hooker’s motion in limine to treat BOP employees called as witnesses in his case-in-chief as hostile was granted. Two-day bench trial in 2013.
SECOND AND THIRD CIRCUIT APPEALS
- United States v. Michael Calabretta, 14-3969, 3d Cir. – Mr. Calabretta’s appeal, which contends that he was improperly designed a “career offender” within the meaning of the United States Sentencing Guidelines based on the dual assignment of criminal history category points to a violation of parole as a substantive offense and as the means to bring another substantive offense into the relevant timeframe, will be filed in early 2015.
- United States v. Dontae Sebbern, et al., 14-3211, 2d Cir. – Mr. Sebbern and a co-defendant were convicted after a jury trial of murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, unlawful use of firearms, felon in possession of a firearm, body-armor possession, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine base and cocaine. Mr. Sebbern’s appeal will be filed in early 2015.
- United States v. Yesid Rios Suarez, et al., 14-2378, 2d Cir. – Mr. Rios Suarez’s appeal, which alleges that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel during plea negotiations in violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the United States Constitution, and that his sentence was substantively unreasonable and violated the Colombian extradition order pursuant to which he was subject to the jurisdiction of the Southern District of Court, is currently pending.
- United States v. Del Rosario, 12-3963, 2d Cir. – Mr. Del Rosario’s appeal argued that Brady violations and other trial irregularities deprived him of the fair trial to which he was entitled under the Constitution. Del Rosario’s supplemental brief raised the issue of whether Mr. Del Rosario’s prior conviction should have been submitted to the jury and found beyond a reasonable doubt rather than determined by the judge by a preponderance of the evidence. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the sentence. The Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari on the supplemental question.
- United States v. Cournoyer, 12-1239, 2d Cir. – After his case was reassigned at the government’s request without a hearing, Mr. Cournoyer submitted an interlocutory appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that the denial of his motion to reassign the case to the randomly selected district judge without a hearing violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal, determining that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal before the conclusion of the criminal case.
- United States v. Freeman, 10-5047, 2d Cir. – Mr. Freeman was convicted upon his plea of guilty to accepting illegal gratuities and money laundering while working as a government contractor in Afghanistan. Despite the Presentence Report’s recommendation of a sentence of 12 months and one day, the district court sentenced Mr. Freeman to a term of 41 months of imprisonment. Mr. Freeman appealed his sentence as procedurally unreasonable, arguing that the sentence was based on clearly erroneous factual findings and assumptions about the national security implications of his conduct that were unsupported by the record. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the sentence.
- United States v. Okpomo, 10-3981, 2d Cir. – Mr. Okpomo was convicted after trial of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. He was sentenced to a term of 70 months on the bank fraud and conspiracy counts, and to a concurrent term of 24 months on the aggravated identity theft count. After receiving the defense’s appeal, in which Mr. Okpomo contended that the sentencing enhancement for “means of identification” had been improperly applied in light of the mandatory consecutive aggravated identity theft sentence, the government conceded and moved to remand Mr. Okpomo for resentencing. On remand, the district court resentenced Mr. Okpomo to a total term of 81 months, the low end of the correct Guidelines range, resulting in a 13-month reduction in Mr. Okpomo’s term of incarceration.
- United States v. Shepard, 11-4450, 2d Cir. – Ms. Shepard was convicted after trial of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of mixtures and substances containing marijuana. Shepard’s appeal, which argued primarily that venue was improper in the Southern District of New York, considered the novel issue of whether text messages sent from one cellular telephone to another, where the sender is unaware of the receiver’s location are sufficient to create venue in the receiver’s location.
RECENT NOTABLE CASES
- United States v. Bianka Hichez, 14-MAG-2924, S.D.N.Y. – Mrs. Hichez is charged with one count of misprision of a felony.
- United States v. Junior Ogando, 14-CR-561 (LAK), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Ogando is charged with conspiracy to distribute over 15 kilogram of cocaine in the United States.
- United States v. Elvis Rodriguez, 11-CR-969 (PKC), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Rodriguez is charged with conspiracy to import and conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, and MDMA pills.
- United States v. Gary Ramis, 13-CR-600 (ER), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Ramis pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana. He was facing a mandatory minimum of 60 months’ imprisonment and a guidelines range of 70-87 months’ imprisonment. On August 15, 2014, Judge Ramos sentenced Mr. Ramis to 70 months’ imprisonment.
- The Estate of Joseph P. Graffagnino, 104784/08 – A wrongful death cause of action on behalf of the Estate of firefighter Joseph P. Graffagnino, who at 33 years of age lost his life while fighting the infamous fire at the Deutsche Bank Building, on August 18, 2007. The case was partially settled for $10,000,000.00, the largest settlement for a civil servant employee in United States history.
- United States v. Yesid Rios Suarez, et al., 11-CR-836 (KBF), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Rios Suarez is a Colombian citizen who pled guilty to one count of Conspiring to Import Cocaine into the United States. Mr. Rios Suarez was alleged to have spent two decades in the cocaine business, overseeing the manufacture of cocaine in laboratories, and the distribution of said narcotics via planes in Colombia and Venezuela.
- United States v. John Venizelos, et al., 12-CR-65 (S-1) (RJD), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Venizelos was charged with Conspiring to Import one billion dollars of Marijuana into the United States from Canada, as well as Conspiring to Distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. He pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment. Mr. Venizelos’ guidelines range was 151 to 188 months’ imprisonment. Judge Dearie sentenced him to eleven years in prison.
- United States v. Ofer Biton, 12 Cr. 580 (RJM), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Biton, an Israeli National, is charged with conspiring to make false statements in an immigration application. Mr. Biton received bail after an unprecedented seventh bail hearing, in which District Court Judge Nicolas Garaufis upheld the magistrate’s decision on appeal from the United States Government after the sixth bail hearing. This international case has implicated Mr. Biton with Rabbi Pinto and Rep. Michael Grimm regarding unethical conduct. Biton raised thousands of dollars for Rep. Grimm during his campaign, which federal prosecutors are scrutinizing for financial irregularities.
- United States v. Jimmy Cournoyer, et al., 12 Cr. 065, (SLT), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Cournoyer is charged in a seven count indictment with being the organizer of a major international marijuana trafficking organization between Canada and the United States, continuing criminal enterprise, cocaine trafficking, money laundering, and firearms.
- United States v. Calabretta, et al., 12 Cr. 131 (SRC) District of New Jersey – Mr. Calabretta is charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and money laundering conspiracy.
- United States v. Seymour Eisenberg, et al., 10 Cr. 600 (DLI), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Eisenberg is charged with one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud, one count of securities fraud, and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. Eisenberg is alleged to have participated in SpongeTech Corporation’s scheme to defraud investors in part by creating false press releases, and entering into fraudulent advertising contracts with a number of professional sports teams.
- The Estate of Samir L. Wilkens v. Spotlight Live, 111153/08 – Mr. Wilkens was a patron at Spotlight Live, a Manhattan nightclub, when his life came to an abrupt end at the age of 20. The wrongful death cause of action alleges negligence and gross negligence for Spotlight’s failure to provide adequate security, which subsequently caused the death of Mr. Wilkens.
- United States v. Mario Velez, et al., 13 Cr. 15 (PKC), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Velez was charged with conspiracy to commit extortion. On June 12, 2014, Mr. Velez was granted a deferred prosecution.
CASES RESULTING IN SENTENCES BELOW THE GUIDELINES
- United States v. Lazaro Martinez, et al., 12-CR-379 (VM), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Martinez, a Cuban national, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Mr. Martinez was facing 70 to 87 months’ imprisonment. On July 18, 2014, Judge Marrero sentenced Mr. Martinez to 48 months’ imprisonment.
- United States v. Jesus Moscoso Veliz, et al., 13-CR-974 (JSR), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Moscoso Veliz, a Guatemalan national, pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute two kilograms of heroin. He was facing 70 to 87 months’ imprisonment. On June 4, 2014, Judge Rakoff sentenced Mr. Moscoso Veliz to 48 months’ imprisonment.
- United States v. Curtis Hector, 11 Cr. 575 (KBF), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Curtis pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine. On April 26, 2013, Judge Forrest sentenced Mr. Hector to time served after being incarcerated for 23 months based on 18 U.S.C. 3553 (a) factors. Mr. Hector’s guideline range was 70 to 87 months.
- United States v. Grigoriy Dekhkanov, et al., 11 Cr. 581 (JFB), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Dekhkanov was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of access device fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Dekhkanov was the organizer of a high-tech scheme to obtain over 500,000 identities and bank information. Judge Bianco sentenced Mr. Dekhkanov to 72 months.
- United States v. Jennifer Steakin, 12 Cr. 37 (LTS), S.D.N.Y. – Ms. Steakin was charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. Ms. Steakin received a probation sentence.
- United States v. Willie Wilson, 12 Cr. 241 (NRB), S.D.N.Y. — Wilson pled guilty to transporting guns from North Carolina to New York, and faced 18 to 24 months of incarceration. Judge Buckwald sentenced Mr. Wilson to a non-incarceration sentence.
- United States v. Shon Norville, 10 Cr. 1046 (VM), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Norville pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 kilograms of cocaine; by using his position as a longshoreman he was able to facilitate the transportation of the alleged narcotics. Norville faced a guideline range of 235-293 months. He received a sentence of 180 months, 55 months below the guidelines.
- United States v. Guante, 12 Cr. 242 (JPO), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Guante pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute one kilogram of heroin, and conspiracy to distribute five hundred grams of marijuana with a guideline range of 70-87 months. Judge Oetken sentenced Mr. Guante to 60 months, 10 months below the guidelines.
- United States v. Lenworth Cole, 11 Cr. 86 (ER), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Cole pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute 15 kilograms of cocaine. His guideline range was enhanced due to his role as an organizer to a range of 87 to 108 months. Cole was sentenced to 60 months’ incarceration, 27 months below the guidelines.
- United States v. James Bombino, 10 Cr. 00147 (SLT), E.D.N.Y. – Bombino plead guilty to racketeering and extortion with the Colombo Organized Crime Family with a guideline range of 37 to 46 months. Judge Townes sentenced Mr. Bombino to 30 months in prison based on an analysis of the factors in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a).
- United States v. Julio Salinas, S1 11 Cr. 376 (RPP), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Salinas was charged with one count of distributing five kilograms or more of cocaine, and subsequently pled guilty. The guidelines range was 70 to 87 months. Salinas was sentenced to 36 months, 51 months below the guidelines.
- United States v. Armando Rea, 10 Cr. 767 (JBW), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Rea was charged with RICO conspiracy, murder, attempted murder, extortion, and illegal gambling. The Government alleged that Mr. Rea was an associate of the Bonanno Organized Crime Family, and the shooter in a 1980 murder. Rea faced a potential life sentence. Following the defense’s in limine motions, the Honorable Jack B. Weinstein suppressed tape recordings, granted a motion for judicial notice, granted the defense’s motions regarding potential cross-examination topics, and ordered a hearing on the suppression of Mr. Rea’s post-arrest statements to be reopened. After jury selection, Mr. Rea pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit extortion and faced a potential sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison. He was sentenced to five years of probation.
- United States v. Starlin Nunez, 10 Cr. 763 (PGG), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Nunez plead guilty conspiracy to commit Hobbes Act robbery with a guideline range of 37 to 46 months, and was sentenced to 10 months in prison.
- United States v. Larry Warren Hough, et al., 09 1136 (WHP), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Hough was charged with transporting 150,000 pills of methylenedioxymethampethamine (MDMA or Ecstasy) and subsequently pled guilty to that count. Sentencing was postponed when the ACLU joined defense counsels’ challenges to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines’ application to drug charges involving MDMA. Following oral arguments by counsel for the defendants, the court reduced the MDMA-to-marijuana sentencing ratio from 500:1 to 200:1, resulting in a significantly lower sentencing range. The original guidelines range was more than ten years in prison. Mr. Hough was sentenced to 48 months in prison.
- United States v. Ronald Howard, 08 Cr. 1224 (BSJ), S.D.N.Y. – Howard pled guilty to multiple Hobbes Act robberies and faced 87 to 108 months of incarceration. He suffers from severe kidney and heart problems, and was sentenced to time served after serving 22 months in prison.
- United States v. Tammy Moore, 09 Cr. 125 (WHP), S.D.N.Y. – Ms. Moore pled guilty to stealing money from the city of New York, and faced 12 to 18 months’ incarceration. Moore was sentenced to three years of probation.
- United States v. Bernie Peoples, 08 Cr. 1200 (JSR), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Peoples pled guilty to transporting guns from North Carolina to New York and faced 41 to 51 months’ incarceration. Peoples was sentenced to six months in prison.
- United States v. Guilio Pomponio, et al., 08 Cr. 76 (JBW), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Pomponio plead guilty to illegal gambling as part of 62-defendant organized crime investigation and indictment, and faced 12 months’ incarceration. Pomponio was sentenced to probation.
- United States v. Eric Martinez, et al., 05 Cr. 748 (SAS), S.D.N.Y. – Martinez pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms of cocaine, as a result of successful briefing and litigation, a petition for a downward departure from the plea agreement was granted.
ADDITIONAL RELEVANT CASES
- United States v. Liliana Trafficante, 10 Cr. 650 (DAB), S.D.N.Y. – Ms. Trafficante was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with an approximately five-year scheme to defraud charitable investors of over one million dollars. Ms. Trafficante pled guilty and was facing 41 to 51 months’ imprisonment. On June 17, 2014, Judge Batts sentenced Ms. Trafficante to 41 months’ imprisonment.
- John T. Steele v. First National Bank of Mifflintown, et al., 11-CV-1124 (JEJ) M.D.Pa. – Mr. Steele brought this lawsuit and the related Pennsylvania State Court case, Steele v. First National Bank of Mifflintown, et al., 12-7510, arising out of the defendants’ failure to fund his late grandmother’s amended trust and to implement the amended estate plan set forth therein. Steele alleged that the defendants’ conduct had resulted in a loss to the estate of not less than $8 million, of which $4 million was a direct loss to him personally. After nearly three years of aggressive litigation, the case settled for a substantial sum.
- The State of New York and The City of New York v. BB’s Corner, Inc. Nitecap Entertainment Corp. et al., 12 Cv. 1828 (KBF), S.D.N.Y. – BB’s Corner and Nitecap were charged with violating the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act, the Cigarette Marketing Standards Act, New York Executive Laws 156-c and 63, alleging that they were manufacturing and selling cigarettes with a Roll-Your-Own Tobacco machine without New York State or City tax stamps, and that the cigarettes were not certified as fire-safe. After challenging the government’s motion for a preliminary injunction, BB’s Corner and Nitecap were permitted to remain in business. Before the case came to a final resolution, federal legislation was passed that obviated the need for continued litigation.
- United States v. Jonathan Braun, 10 Cr. 433 (SLT), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Braun was charged with one count of conspiring to import 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana, one count of conspiring to distribute marijuana, one count of possession of 100 kilograms or more of marijuana with intent to distribute, and one count of conspiring to launder money. The Government alleged that Mr. Braun was a marijuana kingpin who used a sophisticated system of encrypted Blackberries to operate a large drug organization.
- United States v. Vincenzo Vitello, 10 Mag. 2134 (HBP), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Vitello was charged in a two-count complaint with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain access to other individuals’ brokerage accounts. Vitello was granted a deferred prosecution.
- United States v. Anthony Manzella, et al., 10 Cr. 0010 (ENV), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Manzella was charged with Hobbes Act robbery, conspiracy to commit a Hobbes Act robbery, and unlawful use of a firearm in relation to the robbery of employees of a pharmacy. After pleading guilty in a related case, 09 Cr. 1243 (LAK), S.D.N.Y., to RICO conspiracy, racketeering, illegal gambling, and wire fraud and receiving a 48-month sentence, Mr. Manzella was facing a possible consecutive sentence of 156 months. Following oral argument, the E.D.N.Y. court granted Mr. Manzella’s motion for a concurrent sentence, finding that the Southern District case constituted “related conduct,” resulting in a total term of 108 months in prison.
- United States v. Seth Lowenstein, 10 Cr. 583 (DLI), E.D.N.Y. – Lowenstein was charged with mail fraud, and alleged to have devised a scheme to obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars in false rebates from Fortune 500 companies. After extensive negotiations, the loss amount calculation was reduced from 1.8 million dollars to less than four hundred thousand dollars, significantly reducing Mr. Lowenstein’s potential sentence.
- United States v. Edward Jones, 10 Cr. 406 (GBD), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Jones pled guilty to one count of means of identification fraud for obtaining and selling information contained on identification documents from the New York State Bureau of Vital Statistics. Jones was sentenced to 8 months in prison.
- United States v. Eugene Morgan, 09 Cr. 755 (RWS), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Morgan pled guilty to one count of collection of extensions of credit by extortionate means (loan sharking).
- United States v. Enzo Rodriguez, 12 Cr. 919, (PKC), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Martinez pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit access device fraud.
- United States v. David H. Brooks, 06 Cr. 550 (JS), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Brooks was the founder and CEO of DHB Industries, Inc., a publicly traded company that supplied body armor to the United States Army and the United States Marines Corp. Mr. Brooks was charged with Securities Fraud, and a 196 million dollar insider-trading scheme. The defense’s motion requesting a rare evidentiary hearing on Mr. Brooks’ violation of his attorney-client privileges was granted.
- Salvatore Cotrona v. Bovis Lend Lease, Inc., et al., 12095/08 – On May 17, 2007, a pipe fell from the Deutsche Bank Building, piercing through firefighter Cotrona’s adjacent firehouse, causing him serious physical injury.
- United States v. Dina Wein Reis, 08 Cr. 165, S.D. Ind. – Mrs. Wein Reis was indicted in the Southern District of Indiana for wire fraud. The Government alleged that the fraud was in excess of 100 million dollars in a gray market goods scheme.
- United States v. Eliyua Ezagui, 09 Cr. 185 (AR), E.D.N.Y. – Mr. Ezagui was charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The Government alleged that Mr. Ezagui participated in an 18 million dollar bank fraud.
- United States v. Patrick Bombino, 07 Cr. 5775 (RBL), W.D.W.A. – Mr. Bombino was charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma. Bombino pled guilty to a misdemeanor after pre-trial motions.
- United States v. Sholom Rubashkin, 08 Cr. 1324 (LRR), N.D. Iowa – Mr. Rubashkin was indicted on twelve counts alleging a 35 million dollar bank fraud in the Northern District of Iowa. Meringolo prepared a successful bail memorandum for Mr. Rubashkin.
- United States v. Joseph Shereshevsky, 08 Cr. 1092 (DC), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Shereshevsky was charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The Government alleged that Mr. Shereshevsky participated in a 100 million dollar securities fraud.
- People v. John McLean, 464/2011, Indictment No. 464-2011 – Mr. McLean was charged under Leandra’s Law in a seven-count indictment with one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated, one count of driving while intoxicated, one count of reckless driving, one count of endangering the welfare of a child, one count of driving on roadways laned for traffic, one count of failure to indicate an intention to change lanes, and one count of operating a motor vehicle on a public highway while intoxicated. McLean pled guilty to one count of violating NY VTL 1192.3, a Class A Misdemeanor, and received a non-incarceration sentence.
- Shecter v. Eytan Sugarman, 06 Civ. 15358 (CLB), S.D.N.Y. – Mr. Sugarman was charged in a multi-count civil action predicated on securities and common law fraud. Prepared and argued motions to dismiss, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6), and 9(b). The gravamen of the motions challenged the integrity of the securities fraud claims under Rule 10(b) and Section 10b-5 of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934.
- United States v. Salvatore Rubino, 05 Cr. 717 (ADS), E.D.N.Y. – Prepared a Coram Nobis motion challenging Mr. Rubino’s mandatory deportation following his plea to charges of conducting an illegal gambling operation. The motion was granted.
- United States v. Theodore Persico, 05 Cr. 351 (CBA), E.D.N.Y. – Assisted Mr. James M. LaRossa in negotiating a 41-month plea agreement arising out of a multiple-count RICO Indictment alleging extortion and witnesses tampering.
- People v. Gabriel Scianna, 2007RI005447. – Mr. Scianna pled guilty to assaulting a police officer. A Wade/Dunnaway hearing was granted in which five New York City police officers were cross-examined. Scianna was issued a 16-weekend sentence.
Premier Sports Media and Entertainment Group, Inc.
Chairman and COO, 1999-2001
- Responsible for merger documents and public filings.
- Explosion Promotions, the company’s subsidiary boxing promotion company, grossed over $2,000,000 and promoted 28 events on ESPN.
Muhammad Ali “The Greatest”
Founder and Publisher, 2002
- Collectible magazine authorized by Mr. Ali. Burt R. Sugar, the foremost boxing historian, acted as the Editor-in-Chief.
“Driven to Rock”
Chairman and CEO, 2003-2004
- Organized, produced and promoted short-track races throughout the United States, with the assistance of current and former NASCAR drivers, and in conjunction with endorsing local musical talent.
“Electronic Music Enterprises, Inc. parent company of Electric Adventure, LLC, Winter Galactic, LLC and EDM Events LLC.”
General Counsel 2012 – December 2014
The companies have entered into contracts with multi-billion dollar companies to promote and produce dance music events nationwide. The company and its subsidiaries have trade marked Electric Adventure, Winter Galactic, and Brite Nites, all of whom promote and produce with multi-billion dollar electric dance music festivals and clubs throughout the United States.
PROFESSOR OF LAW
New York Law School
Adjunct Professor, 2010-present
- Trial Advocacy
Pace Law School
Adjunct Professor, 2011-present
- Trial Advocacy
- Advanced Trial Advocacy
- Federal Criminal Practice Simulation
- Founded four-credit Federal Criminal Practice Simulation course at Pace Law School. Course prepares students with the theoretical knowledge, and practical skills to properly handle Federal criminal cases. Students participate in simulated arraignments, pleas, and evidentiary hearings. Students also enjoy guest lectures from Assistant United States Attorneys, and from noted criminal defense practitioners.
Externship and Internship programs at Brooklyn Law School from 2012 until present, Pace Law School from 2010 until present, and New York Law School from 2007 until present.
Faculty Advisor at Pace Law School for the Italian American Association from 2011 until present.
NATIONAL LAW SCHOOL COACHING COMPETITIONS
Thurgood Marshal Memorial Moot Court Competition — Spring 2015 – Students wrote an appellate brief on issues arising under the 4th and 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Preparing for oral arguments in Washington D.C. Superior Court.
ABA Labor and Employment Law Trial Advocacy Competition – Fall 2014 – Students conducted two full labor law trials, including opening and closing statements; direct and cross examinations; the handling of evidence; and responding to objections. Competed in the Southern District of New York.
AAJ Student Trial Advocacy Competition – Spring, 2014 – Students conducted three full medical malpractice trials including opening and closing statements; direct and cross examinations; the handling of evidence; and responding to objections.
ABA Arbitration Competition – Winter 2014 – Nationally Ranked 6th for the second year in a row out of 56 schools. Pace Law School proudly hosted the national arbitration competition in White Plains, New York, and the finals where held in Chicago, Illinois.
ABA Arbitration Competition– Winter 2013 – Nationally Ranked 6th out of 86 school. Conducted a full arbitration, including opening and closing statements, direct and cross examinations, as well as handling evidence and responding to objections. Competed in Detroit, Michigan, and advanced to the finals in Chicago, Illinois.
National Ethics Trial Competition – Spring 2013- Conducted a full civil trial for professional malpractice, including motions in limine, opening and closing statements, direct and cross examination, handling and proper presentation of documentary evidence. Student received Honorable Mention as the best advocate. Sacramento, California.
Costello Fairfax Competition – Spring 2012- Conducted a full criminal trial, including motions in limine, opening and closing statements, direct and cross examination, handling new information right before trial, and proper presentation of physical evidence. Fairfax, Virginia.
ABA Arbitration Competition – Fall 2011 Regional Finalist, Conducted a full arbitration, including opening and closing statements, direct and cross examinations, as well as handling evidence and responding to objections. Lubbock, Texas.
Juris Doctor, New York Law School, 1999
Master of Science, Criminal Justice, Long Island University, 1998
C.W. Post Campus
Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice, Long Island University, 1996
C.W. Post Campus
- New York State
- New Jersey State
- Eastern District of New York
- Southern District of New York
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States