United States District Court, S.D. New York
May 07, 2004.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -against- MYRIAM NUDELL, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge
On July 23, 2001, defendant Myriam Nudell ("Nudell") allocuted to one
count of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, in violation of
18 U.S.C. § 1956 (h), and her plea was accepted on December 10, 2001.
From at least 1998 through November 2000, Nudell. and others conspired to
launder narcotics proceeds in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956
(a)(1)(B)(i). Nudell will be sentenced to 87 months' imprisonment to be
followed by three years' supervised release. She is further ordered to
pay a fine of $15,000. A special assessment fee of $100 is mandatory and
is due immediately.
This statement of facts draws on the Presentence Investigation Report
prepared by the U.S. Probation Office. The Defendant
Nudell was reportedly born Myriam Gaitan Martin on June 19, 1944 in
Bogota, Colombia. She is the second of five children born to the marital
union of Alfredo Gaitan, now deceased, and Blanca Martin, who currently
resides in Colombia.
According to Nudell, she entered the United States on December 20, 1967
and has lived here ever since. She reported that she became a U.S.
citizen on November 2, 1978.
On July 27, 1975, Nudell reportedly married Leslie Nudell in Nassau
County, New York. The defendant and her husband have two children
together, one of whom continues to reside with Nudell and her husband in
Melville, New York.
According to Nudell, she completed her high school education in Bogota,
Colombia. She reported no educational experience in the United States
with the exception of a real-estate salesperson course attended from 2001
to 2002. Nudell stated that she passed the New York State exam but that
she never applied for a license.
Nudell currently performs domestic work cleaning homes for various
individuals and families on Long Island. She reportedly earns about
$1,100 per month. From 2001 to 2003 she worked as a day-care provider for Carol O'Connell, who reported that Nudell
was an excellent employee.
From 2000 to 2001, Nudell worked for a temporary employment agency,
performing such tasks as data entry. In July 2000, Nudell reportedly
tried to start an employment agency known as Myriam's Agency in Glen
Head, New York. She advised that she completed all of the necessary
paperwork but never conducted any business, and Myriam's Agency was
officially closed on November 16, 2000.
In January 1998, Nudell started a business in Manhattan called Fortune
Import/Export Corp., where she bought women's clothing wholesale and
resold the clothing to customers who came to New York. Due to competition
and the devaluation of the peso, Nudell closed this business on June 30,
From 1993 to 2000, Nudell operated a sole proprietorship called
Fashions By Myriam, which she operated from her home. She reportedly
bought women's clothing from the fashion district wholesale and then
traveled to Colombia where she resold the items to various boutiques.
From approximately 1977 until 1993, Nudell was primarily a full-time
mother for her children. However, she traveled to Colombia frequently and
sold clothing there that she brought from the United States. Prior to that time Nudell was employed as a secretary
in Manhattan as well as, before 1967, in Colombia.
Due to unsecured debt in the form of credit cards, Nudell has
liabilities in the amount of $7,900. Nudell's net monthly cash flow,
including her spouse's income and a contribution from her son, amounts to
$873. The Nudell family has three cars, all registered to Nudell's
husband. They are unencumbered assets, valued at $19,500. The Nudell
family home is currently valued at $550,000, although mortgages have been
taken on it to fund various businesses and projects in Nudell's husband's
Nudell reports that she is in good health and has never used any form
of controlled substance. On November 5, 2003, Nudell was tested for the
use of controlled substances and the results of the test were negative
for all controlled substances.
Nudell has no known prior convictions.
Nudell was a member and leader of a money laundering organization
involving at least five co-conspirators in the New York City area from at
least 1998 through November 2000. The organization's money-laundering
activities were rooted in what is commonly referred to by law enforcement
as the Black Market Peso Exchange ("BMPE"). The BMPE is an illegal currency exchange process which
operates parallel to the official exchange system controlled by the
Colombian government by affording individuals in Colombia who seek to
purchase U.S. dollars a means to do so at rates of exchange more favorable
than those offered through legitimate commercial channels.
Nudell and other members of the conspiracy collected narcotics proceeds
in the New York area from co-conspirators acting on behalf of Colombian
drug traffickers. The cash would then be laundered by forwarding the
proceeds' equivalent in pesos to traffickers or their representatives in
Colombia through various means. Nudell and other members of the
conspiracy conducted many of their money-laundering activities from the
offices of Fortune Import-Export, Inc., a clothing business located in
As part of an extended investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration (DEA) into the conspiracy using confidential informants,
wiretaps, physical surveillance, and cooperating witnesses, Nudell was
arrested on November 24, 2000.
According to the government, the conspiracy involved the laundering of
almost $600,000 in narcotics proceeds. While she was not formally charged
due to the statute of limitations, at her allocution Nudell admitted to
engaging in money-laundering activities from 1992 to 1993. Nudell
acknowledged that the sum laundered during that time period, $518,000, is considered relevant
conduct and agreed that it should be used in calculating the applicable
sentencing range under the Guidelines in this case.
The November 1, 2000 edition of the United States Sentencing Commission
Guidelines Manual, the edition in effect at the time the offense was
committed, has been utilized in this case for calculation purposes, in
accordance with § 1Bl.ll(b)(1).
The guideline for a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956 is found in §
2S1.1, which provides for a base offense level of 20, pursuant to §
As Nudell believed that the funds she laundered were the proceeds of
narcotics transactions, a three-level increase is applicable, pursuant to
§ 2S1.1(b)(1). In addition, because Nudell conspired to launder
approximately $600,000 during the course of the conspiracy, as well as
approximately $518,000 in narcotics proceeds between 1992 and 1993, which
is considered relevant conduct, the total amount of funds laundered is
approximately $1,118,000. Pursuant to § 2S1.1(b)(2)(F), a five-level
increase is applied. Nudell was the organizer of a conspiracy which involved at least five
participants and used her business to launder the funds and dictated the
moves that were instrumental to the conspiracy's success. Accordingly,
her offense level is increased by four additional levels pursuant to
Based on Nudell's plea allocution, her recognition of responsibility
for the offense, and her timely notification of her intention to plead
guilty, and because the aforementioned base offense level is 16 or
greater, the offense level is reduced by three levels pursuant to
§§ 3El.l(a) and 3El.l(b).
The resulting applicable offense level is 29.
Nudell has no known criminal convictions; accordingly, she has zero
criminal history points and a Criminal History Category of I.
Based on these calculations, the guideline range for imprisonment is 87
to 108 months. The statutory maximum term of imprisonment is twenty
years, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1956 (h).
If a term of imprisonment is imposed, a term of supervised release of
not more than three years may also 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 § 5Dl.l(b). Supervised release is required if a
term of imprisonment of more than one year is imposed or when required by
statute, pursuant to § 5Dl.l(a).
Nudell 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, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3563 (a)(2) one of
the following must be imposed as a condition of probation unless
extraordinary circumstances exist: a fine, restitution, or community
Under the Guidelines, because the applicable guideline range is in Zone
D of the Sentencing Table, Nudell is not eligible for probation, pursuant
to § 5B1.1, Application Note 2.
The statutory maximum fine is $1.2 million, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3571.
The guideline fine range for the instant offense is from $15,000 to
$1,200,000, pursuant to §§ 5E1.2(c)(3)(A) and 5E1.2 (c)(4).
Subject to Nudell's ability to pay, the expected costs to the
government of any imprisonment, probation, or supervised release shall be
considered in imposing a fine, 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.
A special assessment of $100 is mandatory, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3013.
Pursuant to the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994,
all offenders on probation, parole or supervised release for offenses
committed after September 13, 1994, are required to submit to one drug
test within fifteen days of commencement of probation, parole or
supervised release and at least two drug tests thereafter for use of a
controlled substance, unless ameliorated or suspended by the court due to
its determination that the defendant poses a low risk of future substance
abuse as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 3563 (a)(5) and 3583(d).
Nudell is sentenced to 87 months' imprisonment, to be followed by three
years of supervised release. Nudell shall pay a fine of $15,000, to be
paid in monthly installments of 15% of gross monthly income over the
period of supervision to commence 30 days after the date of her release
from custody. A special assessment fee of $100 payable to the United States is mandatory and due
Nudell will be allowed to voluntarily surrender.
Nudell shall report to the nearest Probation Office within 72 hours of
her release from custody, and supervision shall be in the district of
As mandatory conditions of supervised release, Nudell 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 the
determination that Nudell poses a low risk of future substance abuse.
This sentence is subject to modification at the sentencing hearing now
set for May 17, 2004.
It is so ordered.
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