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U.S. v. LOBEL

United States District Court, S.D. New York


February 2, 2004.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, -against- MARC LOBEL, Defendant

The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge

SENTENCING OPINION

Defendant Marc Lobel ("Lobel") pled guilty on December 12, 2003 to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h). He participated in an offense involving the proceeds of illegal gambling and bookmaking that affected interstate and foreign commerce and to conspiring to commit unlawful financial transactions, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (a)(1)(A)(i) and 18 U.S.C. (a)(1)(B)(i). Lobel avoided transaction reporting requirements, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (a) (1)(B) (ii), and engaged in monetary transactions in criminally derived property having a value greater than $10,000, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1957. Lobel will be sentenced to 3 years of probation, which will include a 6 month term of confinement. A special assessment fee of $100 is mandatory. Page 2

The Defendant

  Lobel was born on September 27, 1965 in Brooklyn, New York to the legal union of Michael Lobel and Monica Lobel. He is the oldest of two children. Lobel's father, age 61, is a retired plumber, and Lobel's mother, age 59, works part-time as a receptionist. Lobel's parents reside in Long Beach, New York.

  Lobel has a 5 year-old son, Justin Laurino, age 5, who was born in his prior relationship with Cheryl Laurino. On March 3, 2003, pursuant to a Nassau County Family Court Order, Lobel was awarded temporary custody of his son. An additional Family Court Order, dated July 25, 2003, directed that Cheryl Laurino stay away from Lobel's home, refrain from having any communication with Justin, and only have supervised visits with him.

  Lobel is currently involved in a romantic relationship with Wendy Murphy, age 31, who is employed as a featured adult entertainer.

  Lobel has been residing in his parent's home for approximately nineteen months. He has never resided outside of New York. Page 3

  Lobel reported that he used cocaine and marijuana when he was 17 and 18 years old. He reports no additional illicit drug use.

  In 1984, Lobel graduated from Long Beach High School. In 1985, he attended courses in plumbing sponsored by the plumbing union through the New York Trades at New York University.

  Since 1999, Lobel has been the owner of 2-4 Dozen Bagels, a bagel shop, located in Oceanside, New York. Lobel's 2002 income tax report indicated that his business operated at a loss in that year. In early 2003, Lobel opened Just-in-time, a home improvement business operating out of his residence. Lobel characterized his income as minimal.

  The instant offense represents Lobel's first criminal conviction.

 The Offense

  Lobel has been convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering. He worked for Milton Bialostok's bookmaking operation as a pay and collect agent. Lobel used his business checking account to conceal the source and ownership of gambling and illegal bookmaking proceeds and to avoid the transaction reporting requirements under New York State and Federal Law. Page 4

 The Guidelines

  The parties stipulate that the guideline applicable to Count One is § 2S1.1. Pursuant to § 2S1.1 (a)(1)(A), the base offense level is the offense level for the underlying offense from which the laundered funds were derived. The underlying offense is bookmaking, and the guideline applicable to bookmaking is § 2E3.1, pursuant to which the base offense level is 12.

  The offense level is increased by 2 levels because Lobel was convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 1956, pursuant to § 2S1.1(b)(2)(B). The parties stipulate to a mitigating role adjustment pursuant to § 3B1.2(b) because Lobel was a minor participant in the offense conduct, resulting in a 2 level decrease. Due to acceptance of responsibility, a further two-level reduction is warranted, pursuant to § 3E1.1(a), resulting in a Guidelines Offense Level of 10.

  Lobel's Criminal History Category is I.

  Based on these calculations, Lobel's stipulated sentencing Guidelines range is 6 to 12 months. The maximum term of imprisonment is 20 years, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h).

  The minimum term of imprisonment may be satisfied by (1) a sentence of imprisonment; or (2) a sentence of imprisonment that Page 5 includes a term of supervised release with a condition that substitutes community confinement or home detention, provided that at least one month is satisfied by imprisonment, pursuant to § 5C1.1(c); or (3) a sentence of probation that includes a condition or combination of conditions that substitute intermittent confinement, community confinement, or home detention for imprisonment.

  If a term of imprisonment is imposed, a term of supervised release of not more than three years can be imposed, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3583 (b) (2). The guideline range for a term of supervised release is at least two years but not more than three years, pursuant to § 5D1.2(a)(2). If a sentence of imprisonment of one year or less is imposed, a term of supervised release is not required but is optional, pursuant to § 5D1.1(b). Supervised release is required if a term of imprisonment of more than one year is imposed.

  Lobel is eligible for not less than one nor more than five years' probation by statute, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3561 (c)(1). Because the offense is a felony, one of the following must be imposed as a condition of probation unless extraordinary circumstances exist: a fine, restitution, or community service, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3563 (a)(2).

  Under the guidelines, Lobel is eligible for probation provided the Court imposes a condition that substitutes intermittent Page 6 confinement, community confinement, or home detention for at least 6 months, pursuant to § 5B1.1 (a)(2). If probation* is imposed, the term must be at least one year but not more than five years because the offense level is 10, pursuant to § 5B1.2(a)(1).

  A special assessment of $100 is mandatory, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3013.

  The maximum fine is $500,000, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3571. Subject to the defendant's ability to pay, the expected cost to the government of any imprisonment, probation, or supervised release shall be considered, pursuant to § 5E1.2(d)(7). The most recent advisory from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts suggests a monthly cost of $1,876.61 to be used for imprisonment, a monthly cost of $283.23 for supervision, and a monthly cost of $1,475.67 for community confinement.

 The Sentence

  Lobel will be sentenced to three years of probation, which will include a 6 month term of home confinement. The instant offense represents Lobel's first criminal conviction. Based upon his role in the conspiracy, a term of imprisonment is not warranted. Page 7 Lobel shall be fined $2,000. A special assessment fee of $100 is mandatory and is due immediately.

  Lobel is to report to the nearest Probation Office within 72 hours of his release from custody, and supervision shall be in the district of residence. As mandatory conditions of supervised release, Lobel 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; and (4) not possess a firearm or destructive device. The mandatory drug testing condition is suspended based on Lobel's low risk of future substance abuse.

  In addition, Lobel shall comply with the conditions of home confinement for a period of 6 months. During this time, he will remain at his place of residence except for employment and other activities approved by the probation officer. He will maintain a telephone at his place of residence without call forwarding, a modem, caller ID, or call waiting. He further will not use portable cordless telephones for this period. At the direction of the probation officer, he shall wear an electronic monitoring device and follow electronic monitoring procedures. Home confinement shall commence on a date to be determined by the probation officer. Lobel shall pay the costs of home confinement on a self-payment or co-payment basis, as directed by the probation officer. Page 8

  This sentence is subject to modification at the sentencing hearing now set for February 4, 2004.

  It is so ordered.

20040202

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