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Fraud victims’ rights ignored

December 28, 2019

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Still, it was unclear whether a new sentence, if longer, would withstand appeal. The case was brought by W. Patrick Kenna, a Los Angeles investor who says he was ripped off to the tune of $760,000 by Leichner and his father, Moshe. The San Francisco-based appeals court agreed with Kenna’s argument that victims’ rights legislation demanded that he get to address the judge at the son’s sentencing. The judge denied Kenna because he had already allowed Kenna and others to speak during the father’s sentencing months before, a decision an appellate panel reversed Friday. “The criminal justice system has long functioned on the assumption that crime victims should behave like good Victorian children – seen but not heard,” Judge Alex Kozinski wrote for the three-judge court, which ruled 2-1. John Case, Kenna’s attorney, said Kenna will urge the court to issue an even harsher sentence for the son. In February, after pleading guilty, the father was handed a 20-year prison term. Three months later, the son got 11 years in prison for his role. The father and son ran a foreign exchange currency trading firm in Sherman Oaks called Midland Euro that received millions from investors in the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Israel for investments in foreign currency. The bulk of the money was pocketed, not invested, by the pair. “My client was appalled at the result of sentencing,” Case said. Dissenting Judge Daniel Friedman said the opinion was too broad. “Suppose a case with five defendants and 20 victims,” Friedman said. “Does each victim have the right to speak at the sentencing of each defendant?” The case is Kenna v. U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – A man given 11 years in prison for swindling Los Angeles investors out of $95 million must be resentenced because a judge forbade the victims from speaking during the sentencing hearing, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Zvi Leichner, 33, must undergo a new sentencing hearing because the trial judge violated 2004 legislation giving victims the right to speak at such hearings. It was the first time a federal defendant was ordered resentenced because of the law. “This is the first time a violation of a victim’s right resulted in a court order for a new sentencing proceeding,” said Steve Twist, founder of the Crime Victims Legal Assistance Project in Arizona. last_img

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