Glass Emporium VP Emma DeGuzman to be Sentenced July 14—Two Months Later Than Originally Scheduled

May 4, 2010

Glass Emporium vice president Emma DeGuzman will be sentenced on July 14 for the charges to which she recently pleaded guilty-including harboring illegal aliens through her work at the company. She originally had been scheduled for a sentencing date of May 14. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

Though DeGuzman also had been charged with insurance fraud, engaging in conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and wire fraud, along with Glass Emporium president Mehrdad Hakimian, those charges were dismissed when she pleaded guilty to the charges regarding her alleged harboring of illegal aliens. In the details of the charges, the court alleged that Hakimian and DeGuzman employed both Aldy Antonio, and his wife, Luvziminda Yago, despite the fact that they were illegal aliens, but also had advised them to work from home "to avoid the immigration service from coming to the headquarters and discovering that they were wrongfully employed by Glass Emporium."

DeGuzman's involvement in the case has been one of much discussion in the Hakimian trial, held in late-February and early-March. Though Hakimian ultimately was found guilty by jury and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 4, he has motioned for a new trial, saying that the court erred on several counts, including one regarding Deguzman.

Hakimian's counsel claims that the federal government, which brought the charges against both him and Deguzman, should have provided DeGuzman "use immunity" to allow her to testify in his trial. According to Hakimian, at the time she pled guilty, she was advised by the prosecution that "if she elected to testify at trial on Mr. Hakimian's behalf in a manner the government believed inconsistent with their view of the facts relating to the obstruction of justice charge, they would seek to have such testimony held against her at sentencing."

For that reason, Hakimian's counsel claims DeGuzman invoked her right to remain silent upon being subpoenaed to testify in his case "concerning her knowledge of the moving of boxes of GEMI paperwork to storage and recycling." (In the details of the obstruction of justice charges issued in mid-January, the prosecution had alleged that Hakimian and DeGuzman "did, and did attempt to, corruptly alter, destroy, mutilate, and conceal documents and records, namely, glass invoices, glass work orders, and electronically stored invoice records, with the intent to impair their integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding.")

"In this case, by virtue of its admonition to DeGuzman that testimony favorable to the defendant (or unfavorable to the government) will expose her to serious consequences at her own sentencing, the government also has interfered with the defendant's ability to present his defense in violation of the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution," wrote Hakimian's counsel in its recent motion. That motion is scheduled to be heard on June 4, which also is scheduled to be the day of his sentencing.

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