Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Plea Deal Re. Tax Fraud Leonard Cohen

From: Kelley Lynch <>
Date: Sun, Apr 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM
Subject: Plea Deal
To: Joel Lofton <>, "Francisco.A.Suarez" <>, Dennis <>, "*irs. commissioner" <*>, Washington Field <>, ASKDOJ <>, "Kelly.Sopko" <>, "Doug.Davis" <>, rbyucaipa <>, Robert MacMillan <>, moseszzz <>, a <>, wennermedia <>, "Hoffman, Rand" <>, Mick Brown <>, woodwardb <>, "glenn.greenwald" <>, lrohter <>


Here are the details re. the plea deal - from my attorney client notes - that need to be addressed.  I have one question - why isn't any of this on the record or addressed in a motion.  For the record, the PD's office refuses to provide me with my file - including the CDs that prove the City Attorney printed out the same email over and over.

All the best,

No plea deal was entered and the plea deal my public defenders discussed with prosecutor Sandra Jo Streeter.  On April 6th, 2012, Mike Kelly met with me privately and advised me that the City Attorney was ready to go to trial.  He did NOT mention a plea deal at all and neither did Nikhil Ramnaney.  I then advised Kelly that I wanted to plead not guilty and refused to waive my rights to a speedy trial.  Kelly noted that this was acceptable to him because he had co-counsel on the case and would  have time to review all the emails over the weekend and prior to the start of testimony.  Unfortunately, Kelly and Ramnaney never came to the jail or scheduled a video-conference to discuss the facts, evidence, etc.  They misstated facts, confused issues, and did not seem to understand what unfolded.  Both lawyers were aware that I was not served or notified of the California order and this should have been addressed in a motion.  I advised Kelly that I was legally advised that communications were allowed with respect to tax records and other information I needed, slander, etc.  

On Friday, April 6th (after voir dire had begun), I asked Mike Kelly (Nikhil Ramnaney was present) why I wasn’t offered a plea deal.  Various LASD employees and inmates had advised me that this was inconceivable with respect to a misdemeanor - as was the fact that it was going to trial.  At that time, I was told that the public defenders and prosecutor discussed this plea deal:  Plead guilty to two charges, 36 months of summary probation, and 180 days of county jail.  This plea deal should have been raised on the record and in a motion with the court.  It does not appear in the record but is addressed in the PD attorney notes I have now received.  I did not have an opportunity, from my perspective, to accept the plea deal because the trial had begun.  Nor was I advised, by my lawyers, that they would raise this issue again with the prosecutor and file a continuance to stay the trial until the details were resolved.  I would have served approximately 180 with a maximum of 90 days.  By the time the trial began, I had served approximately 40 days so that would have been calculated as 80 days.  Clearly, I would have accepted a plea deal that caused me to serve approximately 45 days rather than an extensive jail term.  The PD attorney notes state that I would have served 10 to 30% of the 180 days.  Furthermore, the judge sentenced me to consecutive terms which I believe is an abuse of discretion and a legal outrage.  The prosecutors note, in their attorney notes, that they advised the prosecutor that they would not be settling the case.  There is nothing on the record about this and evidently nothing was confirmed in writing - re. the plea deal or rejected settlement - between the PD and prosecutor which there should be.  I would have accepted the plea deal and advised the court that I was reluctantly accepting it because I am innocent.  I also view plea deals as blackmail and find it outrageous that one is penalized for utilizing their constitutional rights to a trial.  

See 2012 U.S. Supreme Court cases re. plea deals.

The majority opinion said defendants would need to show that they would have accepted the plea bargain if not for bad legal advice, that there was a reasonable probability prosecutors would not have withdrawn the offer before trial and that a judge would have accepted it.