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July 20, 2010

Photoshop effort to manufacture mitigating evidence proves aggravating to federal judge

I just came across this amusing recent article from the New York Daily News, which reports on a novel (and highly ineffectual) effort by a fraud defendant to build a case for sentencing leniency:

A career fraudster was sent to the slammer for nearly 24 years after giving a White Plains federal judge phony photos of himself doing charity work at hospitals and schools in a bumbling bid for leniency.

Daryl Simon's bald-faced move included sticking a picture of himself into a shot with a physical-therapy patient, then flipping the image and placing it next to a teen student.

"Evidence that his image was inserted and flipped can be seen by examining the single detail on his shirt above his fingers -- that detail appears on the left side of the shirt in the top photograph, and on the right side of the shirt in the bottom photograph," prosecutors wrote.

Another particularly heartless snapshot shows the 38-year-old scammer purportedly comforting a sickly patient struggling during a rehabilitation exercise.

Simon even had the gall to submit fake letters of support from various charitable organizations and individuals, according to the US Attorney's Office. Judge Stephen Robinson saw through the ruse, blasting Simon Thursday for trying to "commit a fraud on the court."

Robinson then slapped him with a 285-month prison term -- 50 months more than the maximum under sentencing guidelines -- for credit-card fraud and bail jumping.

His brazen crimes included buying a sports car with a fake cashier's check for $29,500, along with numerous credit-card scams and possession of a stolen Mercedes-Benz.

Perhaps Simon was merely trying to show off his photoshop talents to the judge in a misguided effort to suggest he could be qualified to get a job with BP in its doctoring-photos department.

July 20, 2010 at 09:49 PM | Permalink


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Stories like this one just lend more credence to the idea that some people really can't help themselves.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jul 20, 2010 10:04:37 PM

We once had a case where a co-defendant created and sent forged character letters to the judge in "aid" of his sentencing. The result was the same as you report in the blog item. And in the course of investigating the fishy letters, the case agent also discovered that the co-defendant's final check to his counsel for payment of the fee for sentencing had bounced. The agent took unseemly pleasure in revealing this to counsel just before the sentencing hearing.

Posted by: Peter G | Jul 20, 2010 11:42:30 PM

Peter G --

How can I hire that agent?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jul 21, 2010 2:17:07 PM

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