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Lebanese Men Charged With Money Laundering in from Tblisi For Now Denied Bail In EDNY

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
BBC-Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 2 –    Two Lebanese men extradited to the US on April 30 on money laundering charges sought release on bail on May 2 but were denied. Inner City Press live tweeted it here:

now Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara is arraigning Mohamad Yassine and Hassan Rahman, citizens of #Lebanon, on money laundering charges. They were arrested in Sept 2021 in the Republic of Georgia & extradited to NYC on April 30. 

Judge Bulsara says he has seen the prosecution's Detention Memo. The Press has not.  Judge asks, Is this a presumption case?

AUSA: No. But our letter says the same considerations apply here [the alleged money laundering including drug proceeds - allegedly]

   Defense: We believe Mr. Yassine can be released. He is 51 and has no criminal history. There are not allegations of violence, and no mandatory minimum sentence.

[EDNY says "If convicted, the defendants face up to 40 years in prison."]  Defense: Mr. Yassine and Mr. Rahman come from the same village in Lebanon. We have four suretors.

[EDNY says They  repatriated illicit funds, incl drug proceeds, throughout Europe, Middle East, South America, Australia, & US, for a commission, as high as 17%. On venue, EDNY says "Some of the funds the defendants laundered originated in Australia, were sent to Turkey, and ultimately transferred into a bank account in Brooklyn."

Which bank? Inner City Press' FOIA requests about AML have been long delayed.  

One of the proposed suretors, Mr. Sabri, works for Ford Motor Company and owns a second home in Grand Junction Michigan where he would send these two men.  Another proposed suretor for these money laundering defendants is the IT manager for a JP Morgan Chase in Tampa, Florida. Oh.

Now defense lawyer for these two accused money launderers from Lebanon cite, for these release,  @SDNYLIVE  case Inner City Press reported, US v. Bernardini, here

Defense: They spend 9 months in prison in Tblisi, Georgia, they did not get enough to eat nor medical treatment. They should be released to Michigan.  Defense: They are willing to travel back and forth to Michigan on the public bus because they will not have their passports. I have another client, Mr. Hussein, who did this. 

Rahman's defense lawyer acknowledges Rahman does not much know proposed suretor Sabri - but his family does, back the village of 15,000 in Lebanon.

Judge Sanket J. Bulsara: I am going to deny bail. There is a huge risk of flight in this case. I am not saying that there are not extradition cases that are bailable. But here, the government had proffered that the activities here allegely involve 10s of million$ 

Judge Balsara: A much more significant bail package would have be presented. [$300,000 unsecured bond was proposed, with $10,000 in cash from Lebanon offered.] 

Will they come forward with more? Inner City Press still stay on the case(s) 


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