Bonheyo & Bonheyo – Guilty

On August 21, 2012, plea arrangement documentation for Bridget Bonheyo and Jerome Bonheyo have been filed with the U.S. District Court of New Jersey.  In the documentation, both Bonheyos understood that the substance (meat) of the charge(s) against them was that they “participated in a scheme to cause [themselves] and others to make fraudulent video relay services (“VRS”) calls for [their] financial benefit.”

The Bonheyos agreed to plead guilty only to count two of their indictment in exchange for the government dismissing the remaining indictment.  If you recall, the indictment against them had seven counts:

  • Count 1: Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371)
  • Counts 2-3: Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. 1343 and 2)
  • Counts 4-7: False Claims (18 U.S.C. 287 and 2)

Again, they have pled guilty to Count 2: Wire Fraud, all others will be dropped.  Sentencing has been scheduled for December 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM.  As with all other VRS cases, the sentencing date may be changed at the last notice.  The Bonheyos now have to go through their own pre-sentencing report investigation prior to sentencing.

Bonheyo Indictment is here (credit to http://ClercJr.wordpress.com for sharing this)
Plea Agreement for Bridget Bonheyo can be found here
Plea Agreement for Jerome Bonheyo can be found here
Sentencing schedule document from PACER can be found here

 

This entry was posted in Bonheyo, Sentencing, VRS Fraud. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Bonheyo & Bonheyo – Guilty

  1. Sponsors says:

    I knew it. I knew it. I find it very odd that she denied in first place and continue getting money from sponsors for SportsMX. I think it is time for them to cut them off due to incitements which they created. Yet, they think they are getting away actually they knew what they were doing…dont hide even their friends covering up. Time to taste wounds, not only that. You have hurt us deeply by deceiving us!

  2. Fox says:

    This is a long time in coming. Now that the two Bonheyos' agreed to a plea, I'm wondering if another indictment is forthcoming. I say that because the government's resources are now freed up to focus on other potential cases.

    @Sponsors, I believe that they denied this like any other people accused of a crime. Sometimes the accused may feel that it's the lesser evil by accepting a plea bargain if the weight of evidence is against them and they feel they cannot overcome that.

    EDIT by VRSJustice: edited out a potential inflammatory comment against someone who has not been indicted. Please do not name names if they have not been indicted by a grand jury and/or government. Thank you.

  3. Frederick Parent says:

    Based on other cases, what do you think Bonheyos' sentences will look like for wire fraud? House arrest or jail time?

    • vrsjustice says:

      This is treading into speculation here. If you review all the sentencing summaries over at clercjr.wordpress.com, you will notice that nearly every defendant who pled guilty (with the exception of Benjamin Pena who went to trial and was convicted), it was for one count (18 U.S.C. 1341). Interestingly enough, the Bonheyos did not have that 1341 as a count, but rather 1343. That should be something to write up a post on.

      All but the Yehs and Larry Berke got probation (Valle was the exception and was not considered since she was not convicted). Probation ranged from 1 year probation to 5 years with in nearly all cases 1 year home confinement. Fines ranged from 1 million to 2.5 million dollars. Now to the Bonheyos.

      If you read Page 7 on the Bonheyos' Plea Agreement documents (linked above), you will see that the loss has been tagged with a value of +20. According to the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines (2B1.1), a value of +20 means that the loss is between 7 and 20 million dollars. Of all convicted defendants, the Bonheyos are closer to the Yehs in terms of monetary loss.

      So this is all speculation here. We have to consider that the monetary loss is far greater for this case than many of the defendants, and that fact possibly would warrant a sentence between 5 year probation to a possible jail sentence with a minimum restitution of $7 million (the Yehs got $20 million restitution as a part of their sentences). We may have to wait a while to find out because of the PSR. A few defendants have pled guilty back in 2009-2011 and have yet to be sentenced this year. I will most definitely be on top of those cases.

  4. Ohio says:

    If there was no plea bargain approved and if Jerry and Bridget were charged for all counts, what would the sentencing and restitution look like hypothetically?

    • vrsjustice says:

      Hypothetically… as I indicated in my About page, I am not an attorney. I will try my best and answer your hypothetical question with a hypothetical answer based on information out there on the Internet.

      18 U.S.C. § 287: Imprisonment is a maximum of five (5) years (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/287)
      18 U.S.C. § 371: Imprisonment is a maximum of five (5) years. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/371)
      18 U.S.C. § 982: no imprisonment — has to do with forfeiture of property and assets currently owned by defendants convicted of this charge – they go to the government to pay off their restitution/fines among others. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/982)
      18 U.S.C. § 1341: maximum jail sentence is 20 years (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1341)
      18 U.S.C. § 1343: maximum jail sentence is 20 years (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1343)
      18 U.S.C. § 1349: 10 years imprisonment (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1349)

      Many of the above charges have something like this: “each shall be fined under this title”. I took the opportunity and reviewed http://www.justice.gov/tax/readingroom/2008ctm/CTM%20TOC.htm for each charge (specifically: 287 and 371). It basically states the following:

      Maximum permissible fine is at least: $250,000 for individuals
      $500,000 for corporations
      Alternatively, if the offense has resulted in pecuniary gain to the defendant or pecuniary loss to another person, the defendant may be fined not more than the greater of twice the gross gain or twice the gross loss. 18 U.S.C. § 3571.

      Now we get to the hypothetical answer. Suppose that the Bonheyos decided to go to trial and subsequently were convicted on every single charge against them (which Benjamin Pena was — of every single one except one — he was convicted of five charges against him) — they would be looking at a possible maximum of 40 years imprisonment from the four charges that carry a maximum imprisonment (287, 371, 1343 and 1349) plus a fine twice the gross loss suffered by the U.S. Government. The Yehs were fined $20 Million, so let's use that.

      In summary, the hypothetical scenario should both Bonheyos be convicted by a jury on all counts would be around 40 years and $20 million restitution. Federal Sentencing Guidelines say that Federal prisoners have to serve 85% of their sentences. 85% of 40 years is 34 years. The Bonheyos would be nearly 80 years old before they would be up for parole.

      PS: If you are curious, the sentencing Guide maintained by the United States Sentencing Commission is over at http://www.ussc.gov/Guidelines/2011_Guidelines/index.cfm

  5. Anonymous says:

    Result of sentencing? Delayed?

    • vrsjustice says:

      Post coming up! I was waiting for yesterday's sentencing to be posted.

      Stay tuned. Should be up in the next hour or so.

    • vrsjustice says:

      I did not realize this was in response to this particular post, my apologies.

      So to answer your question, Bonheyo & Bonheyo have not been sentenced…yet. Their sentencing date has been rescheduled to July 2013. If all indications hold true, they may potentially be the last two to be sentenced with all the delays going on with other VRS Fraud defendants. This is only if the government is done with all criminal VRS Fraud cases.

  6. Ohio says:

    Thank you for the updates.

    • vrsjustice says:

      You are more than welcome. Just am happy to continue Mr. Foster's legacy in keeping the Deaf community updated on all VRS Fraud cases.

  7. FCC and FBI says:

    Just learned that both of them are in processing of divorce. Am wondering if both of them will testify against eachothers or work as a group?

    • vrsjustice says:

      Good question. There is a term used in law called "Spousal Privilege" which has two privileges — communications and testimonial privileges. The communications privilege means "confidential privilege" where all communication between spouses are confidential. This privilege can be invoked both in civil and criminal cases.

      The communications privilege begins when a couple is married to one another, and never ends even after a divorce or death of a spouse. Since this VRS Fraud case concerns a crime of fraud, the Bonheyos cannot invoke spousal privilege if the confidential communication between the Bonheyos were to perpetuate VRS Fraud.

      What this means is that if one Bonheyo decide to testify against the other, the other Bonheyo cannot invoke spousal privilege if the first Bonheyo can prove that the communication was to figure out ways to commit this criminal enterprise, then spousal privilege goes out of the window.

      My personal opinion is that because they both already made a plea agreement with the government, that they will not do anything further. This is only true if they do not back out of the plea agreement and decide to go to trial.

      As a reminder, as I stated in the About page, I am not an attorney and the above reflects my own research. This is not a legal advice.

  8. Shaka Zulu says:

    Who care if they get a divorce? I just want justice to punish all of the people who broke the law. Judge Pisano is spineless. He should have thrown all of them in jail and let them stay in prison until each and everyone of them have their court date. It s seem like the Galladuet croonies got a light sentence because are deaf. I don't feel sorry if they are deaf. They are all THIEVES!!!! Judge Pisano need to wake up and punish them for the crime they committed. I am so sick of this BS!!!! The FCC need to wake up and stop letting the VRS industry walk all over them. They all should live in poverty. The Judge Pisano need to wake up and stop allowing expensive lawyer manipulate the law. If they have families it s not the tax payers problem. They committed the crime and now it s time to let them pay for it. They made the choice to steal from our government.

  9. peace77 says:

    What happened? What was the sentence?

    • vrsjustice says:

      Hello Peace77,

      Nothing happened as far as a new sentencing date since July when both of the Bonheyos' sentencings were postponed. According to PACER, and verified as of today, there is no date set yet for the rescheduled sentencing. This is not surprising. Look to Deaf Studio 29 as an example. They had a To Be Determined on their sentencing date change for a long time — they were in TBD for several months.

      I check with PACER on a weekly basis and will report as soon as a date is set.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *