Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"You make this sound like a fraud case. This isn't Bernie Madoff."

That was Judge Kenneth Ryskamp last week on the Lin Gosman case, in which the judge sentenced Gosman to probation even though the guidelines called for substantial time in prison. I missed the case when it happened, so thanks to my peeps for sending it along. It's an interesting fact pattern. From the Palm Beach Daily News article:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Bell, however, said Lin Gosman's admitted actions — hiding at least $400,000 in shared assets in storage buildings and receiving a $350,000 second mortgage on a Jupiter house she owns — without disclosing to the mortgage holder the $66 million bankruptcy judgment against her husband were "secretive, deliberate and dishonest. It was criminal."
"This is at the top of the heap," Bell said. "This is the type of bankruptcy fraud where everyone goes 'Oh, my goodness.' This conduct, if we don't address it, the bankruptcy system doesn't work."
Bell recounted Lin Gosman's post-indictment trips to Hong Kong, Dubai, Morocco, Paris and other spots — while allegedly conducting research for a children's book — as evidence she was spending funds that should have been reserved for her husband's creditors.
In addition, Gosman admitted filing a false tax return in 2004 and failing to file tax returns since 2005.
Bell said Gosman tried to hide $3.5 million in assets from the IRS. Gosman has already paid $350,000 in back taxes, Ryskamp said.


But the judge didn't agree with the government that Gosman should get time:

Gosman, 60, teared up and looked at her husband, Abe, as the judge pronounced the sentence.
"I'm so happy," she told him after giving him a kiss. "Why couldn't I have found someone like (Ryskamp) a long time ago?"
She could have received nearly four years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines, but the judge used his discretion and deviated from the guidelines.
Ryskamp cited Gosman's absence of a prior criminal record, her contributions of time and money to many charities and the deterioration of her physical and psychological health. Before she lied about her personal assets, Lin Gosman was a "pillar of society," he said.
The judge admonished the government's vigorous prosecution of the case.
"The U.S. Attorney's Office is hailing this like it's the crime of the century," Ryskamp said near the start of the sentencing hearing. "You make this sound like a fraud case. This isn't Bernie Madoff."
Ryskamp called the case "bizarre in many respects," adding that he has "never seen such an aggressive prosecution" of this type of case in his 23 years on the bench. Ryskamp also said he's never seen such "a lack of objectivity" on the part of the government in pursuit of a case.


Here are some more quotes from the case.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

No Trial.
No Discovery.
No litigation.
No defense.

Who was directing the coverup and WHY?

Free Bernie Madoff now dot com.

John said...

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Thanks!