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Home Sections MiscellaNEWS General Garcia's Sons Sentenced to Time Served
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Sections - MiscellaNEWS
Tuesday, 30 November 2010 10:48

 

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

Journal Group Link International)

  

Philippine Government Requests the United States to Return to the Philippines the $100,000 Seized from the Garcia Sons

 

C HICAGO (jGLi) -- United States District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the Northern District of California in San Francisco sentenced Monday (Nov. 29) to time served, "which is almost two years,” the two sons of Filipino General Carlos Garcia for smuggling $100,000 into the United States seven years ago.

 

Private defense lawyer Julia Mezhinsky Jayne, representing Juan Paulo Depakakibo Garcia, told this reporter over the phone that the sentence handed down by Judge Patel "is fair and we are not going to file an appeal."

 

Atty. Richard A. Tamor, representing Ian Carl Depakakibo, could not be reached for comment.

 

Attorney Jayne said Juan Paulo and Ian Carl were both sentenced based on the agreement “among the U.S. Attorney, the probation officer and the defense lawyers. The judge did not digress from the agreement."

 

Aside from the time served, Judge Patel also sentenced the Garcias to two-year probations.

 

The $100,000 smuggled into the country was confiscated by the court and the Garcias were not fined.

 

When asked if she was aware of a Philippine government request from the U.S. government to return the $100,000 to the Philippines, Attorney Jayne had no comment. Neither had the spokesmen of the U.S. Attorneys office.

 

In his sentencing memorandum filed last Nov. 22, Attorney Tamor asked the court "to impose a fair and just sentence of time served of three months and 13 days in custody, two years of supervised release, and forfeiture of any interest in seized property."

 

The U.S. Probation Office "took into consideration a variety of factors at play in Mr. Ian Garcia's case, including his absolutely blameless life prior to and after his offense, his three and one half (3 1/2) months of custody in North County Jail (in Oakland, California) and his over 18 months on home detention with electronic home monitoring."

 

The defense also joined the Probation Officer's "recommendation and submits that a time served sentence with two years of supervised release is sufficient to adequately impress upon Mr. Ian Garcia the seriousness of his conduct, while addressing some of the sentencing objectives of just punishment, rehabilitation and deterrence."

 

A ssistant U.S. Attorney Hartley M. K. West disclosed in a memorandum that, "in their plea agreements, the Garcias admitted having knowingly carried, concealed in their carry-on luggage, a total of $100,000 from the Philippines to San Francisco, California, with the intent to evade the United States’ currency reporting requirements.

 

"Juan Paulo signed a United States Customs Form 6059B, on behalf of himself and his brother, in which he falsely stated that they were not carrying more than $10,000 in currency. Upon arrival, both Garcias falsely advised a United States Customs and Border Protection Officer at the San Francisco International Airport that they were carrying a total of $1,000."

 

West said, "The government believes that the sentence of time served and two years’ supervised release, which it agreed to recommend in the plea agreement, is reasonable and appropriate under all of the circumstances. Juan Paulo and Ian Carl have already each served 108 days in custody in this case, and approximately a year and a half on electronic monitoring, with no prior criminal contacts.

 

"They have admitted responsibility and wrongdoing, and agreed to forfeit the $100,000 that was seized. Moreover, the evidence shows that the brothers were not transporting the money for personal gain, and were acting at the behest of their parents. "Accordingly, the United States believes that a sentence of time served, plus two years of supervised release, sufficiently reflects the seriousness of the offense, and provides just punishment."

 

Attorney Tamor said, "There is no question that Mr. Ian Garcia committed a very serious offense for which the law dictates a harsh penalty. Under all the circumstances, the recommended time served sentence imposes severe punishment on this man -- he has been without full liberty for over 21 months, almost two years, of his life."

 

The sentence also considered the Garcias "acceptance of responsibility" as they pleaded guilty to "a single count (Count 2)" and felt "sorry for the pain he has caused his family and will never do anything like this again."

 

It was also disclosed that Ian Garcia is close to his family, especially his wife, Nina Xyra Garcia, of "a little under three years," his parents as well as his brothers; he loves them all dearly."

 

Ian also showed his ability as a dependable employee when he was "promoted to a managerial position with his current employer."

 

Ian Karl, a retail Game Stop employee, and Juan Paul, a computer help desk technician, were arrested in 2003 when they tried to bring into the U.S. $100,000 in cash.

 

M eanwhile, the status hearing of the extradition case against the Garcias is set on Jan. 26, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen at the U.S. Northern District Court of California.

 

The status hearing of the extradition of their other brother, Timothy Mark Garcia, is scheduled on Jan. 12, 2011 before US District Court Judge Richard Holwell of Southern District of New York.

 

Their father, Carlos Garcia and members of his family were charged with an unbailable offense of plunder before the Sandiganbayan in 2005.

 

General Garcia was accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth in the form of funds, landholdings and other real, and personal properties in the amount of 303-million pesos (US$6.9-M) that was deemed to be “disproportionate to" his legitimate income.

 

The extradition of their mother Clarita Garcia, 59, is pending before the US Eastern District of Michigan Judge George Caram Steeh in the US. # # #

 

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 



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Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 10:58
 

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