At 2 PM this afternoon in Federal District Court, in the courtroom of Judge Janet Hall, the tax evasion sentencing proceedings of United States of America v. Ira Malkin were conducted. Ira was charged with avoiding paying taxes on ten years of income that he earned at Goat Copy, a company owned by his uncle Louis Goatberg. Lou Goatberg supported the Goat even after the Goat was sued for raping Eli Mirlis when he was a child. Mirlis himself was surprised by this.
During the sentencing proceedings Malkin’s attorney from the Sklarz Law Firm, which also represents Rabbi Daniel Greer, the Goat, argued that Malkin should get off with probation because he is indispensable to the operations at Goatcopy Printing Co. Malkin handled Goatcopy’s biggest client, Comcast Cable. Malkin’s attorney argued that many people at Goatcopy would lose their jobs if Goatcopy lost the Comcast account.
Goatcopy employees spoke before Judge Hall and said that Malkin devoted his life to Goatcopy. Malkin started working at Goatcopy when he was 25 years old and never left. Malkin is currently 49 years old. Employees told Judge Hall that Malkin used to load the Comcast trucks himself when nobody showed up to work in a snowstorm. I find this hard to believe. Malkin weighs close to 400 pounds.
Malkin argued in his paperwork that his obesity should spare him from going to prison, he is too sick to go to jail. There is a Federal prison with a medical center in Devins, Massachusetts for sick people. Malkin can go there. But Malkin’s attorneys didn’t mention anything about his obesity at the hearing.
I had blogged previously about how Malkin’s obesity would prevent him from going to Otisville prison camp because Otisville is a work camp. You have to show you have a capacity to work in Otisville, or they will kick you out and send you to Devins in Massachusetts. Not that any kind of serious work goes on at Otisville. I used to watch a billionaire inmate from the Forbes family mop the same 50 feet of floor all day. Otisville actually takes on many inmates who are morbidly obese. Usually these guys lose ten pounds a month when they are in Otisville. Once they get out they put the pounds back on within six months.
At the hearing Malkin’s attorney told Judge Hall that Malkin wanted to go to Otisville. Malkin’s attorney didn’t mention anything about his weight. Usually defendants can’t stop talking about their medical problems at sentencing in order to gain sympathy. Did the Sklarz wet dream team of attorneys change their strategy at the hearing in response to the Larry Noodles blog? Did they purposely not mention his health problems in order to get him into Otisville? I should send them a bill.
The Feds told Judge Hall that they spoke with Lou Goatberg. The Feds said that Goatberg told them that Goatcopy would only lose 6 employees if they lost the Comcast account, Goatcopy had the account long before Malkin got his job with Goatcopy, and that they would try to keep the account. But Malkin’s attorney argued that Lou Goldberg is an old man in his 70s and doesn’t know what he is talking about. Malkin’s attorney told Judge Hall that Goatcopy would lose at least a dozen employees if the Comcast account were taken over by Noodles Printing. Malkin’s attorney said that clueless Louis didn’t even know the name of the key employees at Comcast. She gave the impression that Lou was an old man suffering from dementia. The last time I saw Lou was in Westville hanging around with Goat buddy Harold Hack, who has since fled to Waterbury. Louis didn’t look clueless to me. He recognized me and ran away from me as fast as he could.
One of Goatcopy’s employees got in front of the podium and Goat-splained to Chief Judge Janet Hall that Lou Goatberg doesn’t know a thing about the Comcast account: “Not even Lou Goatberg can do what Ira does with Comcast.” This female employee broke down in tears and told Judge Hall, “I can’t sleep at night not knowing whether I am going to wake up and have a job in the morning, I have a mortgage, I have kids, I have bills to pay.” Blah blah blah.
The Federal prosecutors were not happy when Malkin tried to throw Goatberg under the bus. The Feds argued that Malkin didn’t care about fellow employees when he raked in $300K a year and conspired with Goatberg to avoid paying taxes on such a high income, putting everybody’s jobs at risk for a ten year period. The Feds even took a swipe at the city of New Haven in order to prove their point. The Federal prosecutor argued that $300K a year is a lot of money to earn in New Haven, “this is not Hong Kong or New York.” This Federal prosecutor probably doesn’t live in New Haven. Why do people think that New Haven is one big sprawling slum inhabited by drug dealers, car thieves, burglars, drug addicts, child rapists, goats, Yalies, Asian tourists, reprobates and bloggers?
The Federal prosecutor argued that Lou Goatberg should be believed when he said Goatcopy would only lose 5 or 6 jobs if it lost the Comcast account. The Federal prosecutor said that Lou had no incentive to lie: “Lou is 100% honest as he is looking at a criminal resolution for himself.” Lou must currently be negotiating a plea deal with the Feds. It was Lou who reduced Malkin’s income at Goodcopy so that Malkin would pay less taxes. The Feds didn’t get into any details about the nature of Lou’s case. The Feds probably would have never brought it up but for the fact that Malkin’s attorney tried to argue that Lou is a complete idiot.
Malkin paid the IRS $484K on his outstanding tax principal. Malkin still owes the IRS $363K in penalties and $344K in interest. The interest will continue to accumulate on the penalty until the penalty is paid in full. Only in America. Malkin will never pay off the interest and penalties. Malkin had about $500K parked in a stock fund, which he withdrew to pay the Feds the principal. Malkin current net worth is about $8,700.00. Malkin argued that he is still supporting two of his adult children. I know how it feels I am also supporting a millennial. $8,700.00 will not go far, millennials can run up large grocery bills.
Malkin spoke before Judge Hall. He told Judge Hall that he was “truly sorry… I am not a risk to offend again… If my inlaws were here I would say I am sorry to them… it has been five years since my infraction.” He referred to his ten year crime wave as an “infraction.” Uncle Lou Goatberg was not there to support Ira. Ira didn’t say he was sorry to Lou. The older and wiser religious Jew Lou should have stopped the tax evasion ten years ago instead of conspiring with young Ira, who only prays on Yom Kippur, Passover and Rosh Hashana.
Judge Hall didn’t look impressed by Malkin. Judge Hall lectured Malkin about how she felt tax evasion was such a serious crime that it undercuts society and undercuts the government. Judge Hall told Malkin that he had more under-reported income than reported income.
Malkin’s attorney argued to Judge Hall that Malkin didn’t blow his money on luxury items. I wanted to approach the bench and tell Judge Hall that Malkin probably blew his money on empty calories. Prosecutors always try to get longer sentences for guys who blow their money on fancy cars, expensive boats, big houses, young women, expensive booze, and other luxuries. The Judge in the Manafort trial blasted Federal prosecutors and told them it was not a crime to blow your money on ostrich jackets.
Judge Hall spoke about how she had to fashion a sentence that will deter future crime. Judge Hall said that in the past she believed that jail sentences will deter others from committing crime. But now she believes that jail does not deter crime. She said someone committing fraud is not going to be deterred by reading about Ira Malkin in the newspaper. She said that studies show that people are deterred from crime when they read about others getting arrested, but that long jail sentences do not deter crime. This makes no sense. I wanted to object but I am still a suspended attorney.
Judge Hall paused for a long minute or two while she contemplated the sentence. Many supporters showed up for Malkin. They sat behind him and held their breath while Judge Hall prayed to Hashem. I sat on the government’s side, although I will never side with the Government, I kneeled.
The Federal sentencing guidelines called for 18-22 months incarceration. The Feds wanted their pound of flesh. Malkin’s blond girl lawyer Lisa Perkins, a former Federal prosecutor from the Sklarz Law Firm, who walks and talks like a millennial, argued for home confinement or probation. Alternatively she argued for a longer jail sentence than called for in the guidelines with a provision to allow Malkin to go to work three days a week. She admitted that this was not a normal sentence and that she knew that such a request was “strange.”
This blond girl attorney from the Sklarz Law firm did not impress me. She tried to kiss up the judge. She made a few bad jokes. Her flirting would have worked if the Judge was an old guy but she was dealing with an older female judge on the bench. There were a couple of old, fat, bald, bespectacled white men, probably Sklarz partners, sitting in the front row. Partners at law firms all look the same. They are usually old White fat guys with glasses. They never lose that sneer, even after they die.
Judge Hall surprisingly gave Malkin a slap on the wrist. Hall went way off the guidelines and gave Malkin six months at Otisville with three months home confinement. It wasn’t clear to me whether the sentence was 6 months at Otisville followed by 3 months home confinement or 3 months at Otisville followed by 3 months home confinement. Either way it was a huge victory for this huge man.
I would be remiss in my job as Larry Noodles not to raise a conspiracy theory. Judge Hall is married to a big macher in the New Haven Jewish community, even though she is not a Jew herself. The Sklarz boys are big shots in the New Haven Jewish community. Is there a connection? I doubt it. Judge Hall has sentenced people way below the Guidelines in many cases.
Malkin did not look healthy, even though he claimed to load boxes in a snowstorm. Should a criminal be rewarded for being morbidly obese? There is bias in the system. If Malkin was a fat Italian mobster with pinky rings running an illegal gambling operation he would have got the book thrown at him. Malkin is a devious man. He spent a decade figuring out more creative ways to cheat the IRS even though he was earning a huge salary for a job that didn’t require any education. Locking him up for 6 months or 24 months wouldn’t make a difference to anyone. Who knows what was going through the mind of Judge Hall at the time she handed down her sentence from on High. State judges think that they are Gd, while Federal judges know that they are Gd.
It remains to be seen what happens to Clueless Louis Goatberg. The Feds may back off on his criminal case considering that Judge Hall gave Malkin a slap on the wrist. The Feds have bigger Goats to fry.
Nothing was mentioned at sentencing whether Goatcopy lost their account with Daniel Greer. The Goat doesn’t have fundraising events anymore so he doesn’t need any printing services at this time.
During sentencing Malkin’s attorney told Judge Hall that Clueless Louis Goatberg has been trying to retire for years and sell Goatcopy to Malkin. It may be difficult for Malkin to buy Goatcopy at this time. Malkin owes the IRS almost a million bucks. Larry Noodles would be willing to buy Goatcopy. I could print many signs warning citizens of the danger of the Goat.