Thursday, July 2, 2009

JNS BLOG EXCLUSIVE: Fourteen Years Suggested For Mortgage Fraudster Larry Maxwell, His House Reportedly "Ransacked."

Photo By John Hoff

Melony Michaels, the wife of identity theft victim John Foster, called me today and provided Johnny Northside blog exclusive details about a hearing this morning for Larry Maxwell, who faces sentencing for 18 criminal convictions all related to mortgage fraud. The photo above shows Maxwell on the day of his conviction, a few hours before he was taken into custody.

The Maxwell scandal was blown wide open by Michaels' amateur investigation into the fraudulent sale of 1564 Hillside Ave. N., which involved the theft of her husband's identity. According to Micheals...

The hearing took place this morning before Judge Regina Chu. Michaels reported 6 or 7 individuals who looked like family members were present, and two of the family members--women in their late 20s or early 30s--actually GLARED at Michaels, as though she were the criminal instead of Larry Maxwell. Ironically, Michaels had rode the elevator with the women and had been about to tell one of them her rhinestone decorated shoes were cute, but Michaels' husband, John Foster, interrupted her train of thought at that moment.

Let the record reflect one of the individuals in the spectator section, believed to be a family member of Larry Maxwell, had cute shoes.

Maxwell himself had a cute outfit as well: an orange jumpsuit with orange socks. Maxwell's shoes were "sandal like" and beige.

Michaels reports both attorneys provided briefs to Judge Chu. The brief of prosecutor Brad Johnson was "half an inch thick." (It is my belief Liz Johnston may have worked on that brief)

The hearing centered on how racketeering should be "rated" for sentencing purposes. Racketeering is an "unrated" crime in Minnesota, so the judge has discretion. Brad Johnson was asking for 14 years, arguing for a rating of "10" which is the same as third degree murder. Maxwell's co-conspirator, Jerome L. Kingrussell, received a rating of 8 for acting as Maxwell's tool in the fraud. Maxwell was described as the "mastermind" of the fraud.

Johnson argued a rating of 10 made sense because three similar cases in Hennepin County were rated at a 9. These were mortgage fraud and racketeering cases but lacked the "underlying crimes" such as identity theft which was present in the Larry Maxwell case.

Chu inquired about sentencing only on racketeering, and merging all the other crimes. Johnson stated he would prefer to sentence on all 18, to be served concurrently. (At the same time)

Defense attorney Larry Reed argued Maxwell couldn't be compared with a murderer. Reed said a long sentence for Maxwell would produce too much "variation" between the co-conspirators, Kingrussell and Williams, who are both on probation and walking free. At one point, Reed argued for a ranking of 6, which would be less than the ranking of Kingrussell, the crackhead co-conspirator who could do NOTHING without Maxwell's sophistication and "keys" to the mortgage and real estate industry. 

In response to this, Johnson read Judge Cahill's order about 108 months hanging over Kingrussell's head. The only reason Kingrussell is walking free, Brad said (quoting Cahill) is because Kingrussell was cooperative in convicting the "mastermind" of these crimes, which was Larry Maxwell.

Johnson emphasized that Kingrussell got 108 months, yet Kingrussell wasn't anywhere near the level of Maxwell's "sophistication." (Evidence shows Kingrussell has battled with addiction to crack) Johnson said Maxwell was not apologetic or remorseful.

In response to this, Larry Reed argued Maxwell was "honorable" and showed up in court. Reed said Maxwell's house had been "ransacked" and "things had been stolen" because the judge had Maxwell taken away right after trial instead of letting him tidy up his affairs. Reed argued Maxwell should be let go for a brief time, since his grandma is "sick and on her deathbed."

Unknown if the allegedly sick grandma lives in Alabama. Prosecutors have consistently argued Maxwell is a flight risk.

According to Melony Michaels, during this discussion about (among other things) Maxwell's "sick grandma," Chu's face had a look like "I'm not buying this." Chu said Maxwell will remain in custody. Sentencing will take place Thursday, August 13, at 9 a.m. I am told John Foster will speak. Melony is debating whether she should speak, but appears to be strongly leaning that way. She is being urged by "everyone" to speak.

Prior to the sentencing date, prosecution and defense will submit further argument about sentencing and the merging of multiple sentences. Larry Reed said he didn't have enough time to prepare all the info he wanted to give to Judge Chu because of the ongoing Marlon Pratt case, which is expected to end "next Monday."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jerry! You're next - better get your affairs in order now so your house isn't 'ransacked'.