Tuesday, January 8, 2013

U.S. v. Khouli et al. Update: Motion to Defer Prosecution Ushers Rapid End to Antiquities Case

Prosecutors in Brooklyn last week entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with defendant Joseph Lewis, II, completing the alleged antiquities trafficking case of United States v. Khouli et al.  One co-defendant's sentence to house arrest in November for smuggling and making  false statements, and a second co-defendant's plea in December to misdemeanor accessory after the fact, with a sentence of a $1000 fine, appear to have accelerated the case to its rapid conclusion.

A deferred prosecution typically involves an agreement between the prosecution and defense whereby the case is suspended for a period of time and upon certain conditions such as good behavior.  Court documents do not reveal the specific agreement in the case involving Lewis, but one document suggests that the deferral period is for one year beginning January 3, 2013.  At the end of the deferral period, the case is dismissed.  For all intents and purposes, a deferred prosecution generally ends the criminal prosecution.  No conviction is entered.

Last year at this time, Lewis' attorney filed a motion to dismiss arguing that the government could not prove its case.

A fourth co-defendant, Ayman Ramadan, remains a fugitive.  However, the completion of the antiquities case in the Eastern District of New York suggests that the fugitive warrant may not be executed by the U.S. Attorney if he were to be arrested.

This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2012 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com