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United States District Court, Southern District of New York

March 20, 2003


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert W. Sweet, United States District Judge


Defendant Pan Sukhnandan ("Sukhnandan") pled guilty on December 17, 2002 to stealing approximately $26,000.00 in cash, while an employee of HSBC Bank. She stole money that had been deposited by HSBC customers into HSBC ATM machines and concealed this theft by crediting those customers' accounts with the proceeds of checks that other customers had mailed to HSBC for deposit in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 656. For the reasons set forth below, Sukhnandan will be sentenced to 5 months' imprisonment and 5 months' home confinement, followed by three years' supervised release.

The Defendant

Sukhnandan was born on February 15, 1979, in New Amsterdam, Berbiez, Guyana to Indrani Persuad and Khemrha Sukhnandan. Her mother is a 41-year-old home health aid, and her father is a 43-year-old Metropolitan Transit Authority employee. Sukhnandan has three siblings.

Sukhnandan immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 16 years old. According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), she entered the United States on May 18, 1995, and, on April 18, 2002, she became a naturalized United States citizen. Since residing in the United States, she has only lived in New York.

On July 12, 2002, Sukhnandan married Mohammad Rhiman in Queens County, New York, as verified by her marriage certificate, Mr. Rhiman, 26, is employed at JFK Airport. Sukhnandan has no children. Sukhnandan reports not to have shared with her husband or family the details of the instant offense.

Sukhnandan graduated from Richmond Hill High School in Queens County, New York in June 1997. Then, in 1999, she attended the Bureau of Manhattan Community College for half a semester and studied business administration.

Following the presentence interview, Sukhnandan was employed as a Production Assistant at AIG, an insurance company. From January 2003 through approximately February 2003, she was employed performing data entry at Self-Help Community Services. Before that, she was employed part-time at Century 21 as a cashier. From June 17, 2002 through July 13, 2002, she was employed by Citibank as a bank teller. Correspondence from Citibank indicated that they would not consider re-employing her. A few years prior, Sukhnandan was employed by HSBC, the bank connected with the instant offense. On the advice of counsel, she declined to discuss this employment. From June 2001 through March 2002, she was employed at JP Morgan Chase. In the plea agreement, the parties stipulated that Sukhnandan purloined approximately $5,000 from JP Morgan Chase Bank.

The Offense

Sukhnandan has been convicted of one count of Theft of Funds by a Bank Employee. While an employee of HSBC Bank, she stole approximately $26,000 in cash that had been deposited by HSBC customers into HSBC Automated Teller Machines and concealed her theft by crediting these customers' accounts with the proceeds of checks mailed in by other customers.

Sukhnandan stated that she spent the fraudulently obtained money on food and clothing. This is her first known criminal conviction.

The Guidelines

Because application of the November 1, 2002 Guidelines would result in a violation of the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution, the November 1, 2000 Guidelines Manual is to be applied to the offense charged, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B1.11. The sentencing guideline for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 656 is found in U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1. Pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(a), the base offense level is four.

Since the loss resulting from the offense conduct was more than $20,000, but less than $40,00, 6 levels are added, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(1)(G). Because the offense involved more than minimal planning, the offense level is increased by 2 levels, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b)(4)(A). Sukhnandan also abused a position of trust, warranting a 2-level enhancement, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3B1.3. Sukhnandan's acceptance of responsibility warrants a two-level reduction, pursuant to U.S.S.G § 3E1.1(a). Thus, the applicable Guidelines offense level is 12.

Sukhnandan has no criminal history, and thus her Criminal History Category is I.

For an offense level of 12 and a Criminal History Category of I, the sentencing Guidelines range is 10 to 16 months.

The Sentence

Sukhnandan will be sentenced to 5 months of imprisonment and 5 months of home confinement, followed by three years of supervised release.

A special assessment fee of $100 is mandatory and due immediately.

Restitution in the amount of $26,000 is mandatory. Sukhnandan shall make restitution payable to the Clerk, U.S. District Court, for disbursement to HSBC Bank in the amount of $26,000. Restitution shall be forwarded to:

HSBC Bank Recovery Operations, Re: Case #111-805056-01E 251 Main Street, 4th Floor Buffalo, New York 14021
The restitution shall be paid in monthly installments of 10% of gross monthly income over a period of supervision to commence 30 days after the date of Sukhnandan's release from custody. If Sukhnandan is engaged in a BOP non-UNICOR work program, she shall pay $24 per quarter toward the criminal financial penalties. However, if she participates in the BOP's UNICOR program as a grade 1 through 4, she will pay 50% of her monthly UNICOR earnings toward the criminal financial penalties, consistent with BOP regulations at 28 C.F.R. § 545.11. Sukhnandan shall notify the United States Attorney for this district within 30 days of any change of mailing or residence address that occurs while any portion of the restitution remains unpaid.

Occupational restrictions will be placed on Sukhnandan, pursuant to § SF1.5, and she will not be allowed to hold a job in a bank or other financial institution.

Within 72 hours of her release from custody, Sukhnandan is to report to the nearest Probation Office, and supervision shall be in the district of residence. As mandatory conditions of supervised release, Sukhnandan shall (1) abide by the standard terms of supervised release (1-13); (2) not commit another federal, state, or local crime; (3) not illegally possess a controlled substance; (4) not possess a firearm or destructive devise; (5) provide the probation officer with access to any requested financial information; and (6) not incur new credit charges or open additional lines of credit without the approval of the probation officer unless she is in compliance with the installment payment schedule.

A special assessment fee of $100 is mandatory and is due immediately.

This sentence is subject to modification at the sentencing hearing now set for March 24, 2003.

It is so ordered.


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