Plea deal crumbles with restitution disagreement between Patrick Ricciardi and US Attorney's Office
In a stunning turnaround this morning, the sentencing hearing for former Hoboken IT manager who was expected to see a reduction in the 15 years he was originally charged - completely fell apart when a disagreement over his restitution emerged canceling this morning's hearing.
Federal plea deals are typically agreed upon in advance of any sentencing date. The cancellation of Ricciardi's hearing is sure to put the whole Data Theft Ring Conspiracy front and center in Hoboken as residents await further developments.
Based on a Jersey Journal story at his plea hearing, Ricciardi should have seen the 15 year sentence he was facing reduced to at most five years reportedly for his cooperation in the investigation.
That plea agreement is now completely up in the air (if this restitution issue is part of a larger problem).
Mayor Dawn Zimmer had been on hand to deliver a statement. She had been invited by federal law enforcement officials to comment before the sentence was issued as her office had been ransacked of its electronic communications for a year and a half going back to early 2010.
|Patrick Ricciardi seen here outside Benny Tudino's saw his|
sentencing today blow up in Newark Federal Court. Uh oh.
In April 2011, Council members Beth Mason and Michael Russo who were temporarily the majority at the time, sponsored a resolution seeking all the emails between the mayor's office and a list of local media. Atop the list were three pro-reform anti-corruption websites: the Hoboken Journal, Grafix Avenger and MSV.
That coincidence has never been explained although MSV has repeatedly put questions to Beth Mason and Michael Russo in City Council meetings. While Michael Russo has never answered the questions, even leaving the dais to escape the opportunity, Beth Mason has given contradictory answers in public telling MSV after a July 1, 2011 council meeting to a question if she had seen any of the illicit emails responded, "I never saw yours." (GA posted a timeline of events.)
An attorney familiar with the case but not a party in the matter described the upheaval saying this was bad news for Patrick Ricciardi. "Ricciardi comes from this place of entitlement. He's acting on the idea he'll do what he wants to do (outside of the terms in the plea deal). This is part of his inherent hubris."
A new hearing date is reportedly set for July 29th.
Talking Ed Note: The US Attorney's Office in Newark just got another up close example of Hoboken Old Guard arrogance first hand. Patrick Ricciardi has ties to senior officials in Hoboken including city officials in City Hall, police, fire among others. He also hosted private meetings with a secret visitor in the form of Perry Klaussen of Hoboken411 in his obscure third floor office before his arrest.
When Ricciardi filmed City Council meetings in 2011 and earlier, he was seen running the live blog of Hoboken411 who is virulently anti-Administration and known for writing a litany of lies on anything and everything concerning the City's governance.
Birds of a feather and all.
Beth Mason and Michael Russo 'declare war' on FBI email conspiracy investigation
Public Questioning: Beth Mason, have you seen the (stolen) emails?
Mason answers the wrong question on email conspiracy, confesses!
A possible chronology with the FBI and Michael Russo
Hoboken411 linked to Patrick Ricciardi in secret visits to his City Hall office
Beth Mason's meeting with FBI informant Solomon Dwek
The Ultimate Email Conspiracy Timeline by Grafix Avenger