Sentencing of Glass Emporium Owner Hakimian Delayed Until July 2;
Response Also Filed to Feds' Objection to New Trial
June 2, 2010
The sentencing of Glass Emporium owner Mehrdad Hakimian has been
delayed until July 2. It previously was scheduled for June 11, but
was postponed for three weeks at the request of Hakimian's counsel-and
with the agreement of the U.S. attorneys representing the federal
government in the case.
Hakimian was found guilty in March of several charges related to
insurance fraud, obstruction of justice and more. He also had pleaded
guilty to charges related to visa fraud and the harboring of illegal
HERE for related story.)
Meanwhile, Hakimian's motion for a new trial is scheduled to be
heard this Friday, June 4. Hakimian had filed the motion for a new
trial alleging that the court had erred on several counts in April,
and the federal government had objected with a brief filed on May
21. On Friday, Hakimian's counsel filed a 15-page response to the
government's objection to the motion, arguing against many of the
For example, though Hakimian's counsel had argued visa fraud evidence
should not have been admitted in the March trial, as he'd previously
pleaded guilty to these, U.S. attorney Joseph P. Russoniello had
alleged in his motion that "the visa fraud facilitated the
wire fraud offenses," and that "the inextricably intertwined
visa fraud was necessary to explain the heightened degree of control
Hakimian exercised over certain foreign employees in instructing
them to over-bill insurance companies for windshield parts and installation
However, Hakimian's counsel argues that "the link between
the visa fraud and wire fraud allegations [was] never proved at
"Hakimian did not control his employees by means of fraudulent
via petitions and in this way induce them to assist in his alleged
insurance fraud scheme," writes the defense. "While the
government floated this theory in advance of trial, the evidence
did not establish it, and in fact refuted the government's position."
The statement from Hakimian's counsel continues, "There was
no testimony that Hakimian relied on the falsity of workers' visa
petitions to force or persuade them to do illegal things while billing
There also has been disagreement about Glass Emporium vice president
Emma DeGuzman, who declined to testify citing her Fifth Amendment
rights, after previously pleading guilty to the illegal alien charges-at
which point the fraud charges against her were dropped. While Hakimian
had claimed DeGuzman should have been granted immunity, or that
the jury should have been instructed that her testimony was only
unavailable to the defense, the federal representatives involved
have claimed that "a witness who invokes the right against
self-discrimination is equally unavailable to both parties."
However, Hakimian's counsel writes, "There is no valid reason
why the government should not immunize a person in DeGuzman's position,"
and points out that others involved were immunized in the case.
"If the government feared she should give false testimony,
it would retain the option of prosecuting her on the basis thereof,"
adds Hakimian's counsel. "Therefore, immunizing DeGuzman would
not entail any prejudice to the government sufficient to outweigh
Hakimian's clear need for her testimony."
Hakimian is represented by San Francisco attorney William Osterhoudt.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to AGRR magazine.