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United States v. Sparrow

United States District Court, S.D. New York

August 19, 2014

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
ANTHONIE SPARROW, Defendant.

SENTENCING OPINION

ROBERT W. SWEET, Sr., District Judge.

On February 26, 2014, Anthonie Sparrow ("Sparrow" or the "Defendant") pled guilty to Count 1: Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349, a Class C felony, and Count 2: Wire Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343, a Class C felony. For the reasons set forth below, Sparrow will be sentenced to 100 months' imprisonment to be followed by a period of 3 years' supervised release on each count to run concurrently. Defendant is ordered to pay approximately $15, 000, 000 in restitution and forfeit to the United States $16, 000, 000. The Defendant is also required to pay a special assessment of $200.

Prior Proceedings

The Defendant was named in a three-count Indictment 09 CR 1197 (RWS) in the Southern District of New York on December 17, 2009. Count 1 charges that from February 2003 through January 2005, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, Masoor A. Khan, a/k/a "Mazhar Akhtar", a/k/a "Mazhar Khan" ("Khan"), the Defendant and others conspired to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343. Count 2 charges that from February 2003 through January 2005, in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere, Khan and the Defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud by falsely and fraudulently representing that investors would receive valuable collectible coins in exchange for their investments, and in the course of executing the scheme caused numerous wire transfers of funds, totaling over $15 million, to be transmitted from victims in Europe to bank accounts held by Sparrow and his co-conspirators in New York, New York, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343. Count 3 charges that from February 2003 through January 2005, Khan, the Defendant and others conspired to commit money laundering in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1956(h).

On February 26, 2014, Sparrow appeared before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Debra C. Freeman and allocuted to Counts 1 and 2 of Indictment 09 CR 1197 (RWS). In accordance with the terms of a written plea agreement, the Defendant and both counsel stipulated to the following:

A. Offense Level
1. The applicable version of the Guidelines manual is the one in effect as of November 1, 2013.
2. Pursuant to §2B1. 1(a) (1), the base offense level is 7.
3. Because the loss resulting from the charged conduct was greater than $7, 000, 000 but not more than $20, 000, 000, the offense level is increased by 20 levels, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 2B1.1(b) (1) (K).
4. Because the offense involved 250 or more victims, the offense level is increased by 6 levels, pursuant to §2B.1(b) (2) (C).
5. Assuming the [D]efendant clearly demonstrates acceptance of responsibility, to the satisfaction of the Government, through his allocution and subsequent conduct prior to the imposition of sentence, a 2 level reduction will be warranted, pursuant to U.S.S.G. § 3E1.1 (a). Furthermore, assuming the [D]efendant has accepted responsibility as described in the previous sentence, an additional 1 level reduction is warranted, pursuant to § 3E1.1 (b), because the [D]efendant will have given timely notice of his intention to enter a plea of guilty, thereby permitting the Government to avoid preparing for trial and permitting the Court to allocate its resources efficiently.
In accordance with the above, the applicable Guidelines offense level is 30.

B. Criminal History Category

Based upon the information available to the Government, the [D]efendant has no criminal history points and a Criminal History Category of I.

C. Sentencing Range

Based upon the calculations set forth above, the [D]efendant's stipulated Guidelines range is 97 to 121 months' imprisonment. In addition, after determining the [D]efendant's ability to pay, the Court may impose a fine pursuant to § 5E1.2. At Guidelines level 30, the applicable fine range is $15, 000 to $150, 000.
The parties agree that neither a downward nor an upward departure from the Stipulated Guidelines Range set forth above is warranted.
The parties agree that either party may seek a sentence outside of the Stipulated Guidelines Range, based upon the factors to be considered in imposing a sentence pursuant to 18 USC 3553(a).

The Sentencing Framework

In accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Booker , 543 U.S. 220 (2005), and the Second Circuit's decision in United States v. Crosby , 397 F.3d 103 (2d Cir. 2005), the sentence to be imposed was reached through consideration of all of the factors identified in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a), including the Advisory Guidelines:

(1) the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant;
(2) the need for the sentence imposed -
(A) to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense;
(B) to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct;
(C) to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant; and
(D) to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner;
(3) the kinds of sentences available;
(4) the kinds of sentence and the sentencing range established for -
(A) the applicable category of offense committed by the applicable category of defendant as set forth in the guidelines...
(5) any pertinent policy statement [issued by the Sentencing Commission];
(6) the need to avoid unwarranted sentence disparities among defendants with similar records who have been found ...

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