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August 03, 2001 05:30am
Gold Club Trial - Steven Kaplan's Guilty Plea As Entered
Source: Independant for Ainews
by: Rick C. Limpert

(ATLANTA, GA) -- Guilty Plea And Plea Agreement United States District Court Northern District Of Georgia Atlanta Division Criminal No. 1:99-CR-609 (superseding)

STEVEN E. KAPLAN, defendant, having received a copy of the above-numbered indictment, hereby pleads GUILTY to Count Two (2) thereof. The defendant, his counsel, and counsel for the United States, subject to approval by the Court, have agreed upon a negotiated plea in this case, the terms of which are as follows:

1. Defendant agrees that he is guilty of the offense charged in Two pecifically, that, being associated with a criminal enterprise, the activities of which affected interstate commerce, he knowingly and unlawfully conducted the affairs of that enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity. As part of this plea the defendant will also enter pleas of guilty on behalf of MSB Inc. and Gold Group of Atlanta Inc. to information charging those corporations with the violations alleged in Count 2. It is agreed that the corporate pleas will be for probation and no further fine or forfeiture will be imposed. Both defendant and the Government agree that the underlying RICO predicates which should be used to determine defendant's guideline range are Racketeering Act One (prostitution involving interstate commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1952), Racketeering Act Seven (credit card fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C 1343), and Racketeering Act Thirteen (fraud against Delta Air Lines in Violation of 18 U.S.C. 1343). The defendant agrees that he is guilty of these offenses.

Defendant acknowledges that the offense to which he is pleading guilty carries a term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a fine of $250,000.00, a three-year term of supervised release and a $100 special assessment, which must be paid at the of sentencing either by cash, cashier's check or U.S. Postal Money Order.

2. The remaining counts of the indictment will be dismissed at the time of defendant's sentencing. Other than this offense to which defendant has agreed to plead guilty, he will not be prosecuted for any other violations of federal law presently known to the Government, or directly or indirectly related to financial matters, which may have been committed prior to the date of this agreement. This non-prosecution provision has been approved by the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice and is binding between the defendant and the United States. This non-prosecution provision shall also extend to Mona Kaplan. However, this non- prosecution provision does not apply to any violations of federal criminal law committed prior to the date of this agreement involving death or serious bodily injury, or any offense committed by the defendant after the date of this agreement, including but not limited to perjury or obstruction of justice. As the defendant will enter pleas of guilty on behalf of the Gold Group of Atlanta and MSB, Inc., the corporations will withdraw their request for attorney's fees and/or other sanctions.

3. The Government will recommend that the defendant receive a two-level adjustment for acceptance of responsibility. The Government's obligation to recommend the reduction for acceptance of responsibility is contingent upon defendant's continuing manifestation of acceptance of responsibility. Should defendant deny his involvement, give conflicting statements as to his involvement, or engage in additional criminal conduct (including personal use of a controlled substance) the Government shall not be bound to recommend the reduction for acceptance of responsibility. Section 3E1.1

4. The Government reserves the right to make all facts known and to make recommendations as to specific characteristics and adjustments listed in the Sentencing Guidelines. The Government also reserves the right to fully inform the Court and the United States Probation Office of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the entire case. The defendant understands that the Government will request a pre-sentence investigation prior to sentencing so that issues relating to forfeiture and restitution can be fully considered.

5. Defendant has agreed to cooperate with the Government, by facilitating a global resolution to this case, excluding the cases of codefendants DILEONARDO, BURNEY and REDLINGER. Further, defendant has agreed to cooperate with the Government in facilitating the forfeiture to the Government of The Gold Club, and currency in the amount of $5,000,000.00. In exchange for defendant's cooperation in this regard, and in consideration of the global resolution of this matter, the Government agrees to file a motion for a downward departure, based on defendant's substantial assistance. The Government will recommend that the court depart down to a Level 19, which has a sentencing range of 30-37 months, and will recommend that defendant receive a sentence of imprisonment for 36 months. The defendant is free to request whatever sentence he deems appropriate.6. Defendant agrees that he will immediately forfeit his entire interest in the Gold Club, located at 2416 Piedmont Road, N. E., in Atlanta, Georgia, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1963. It is agreed that the locks will be immediately changed and the government will take possession and control of the property within seven (7) days after the plea by the defendant. Also all regulatory approvals shall also be forfeited including the liquor license. He admits the forfeiture allegations set forth in the indictment against him to the extent of the forfeitures agreed upon herein. The defendant is responsible for all liabilities of the club as of the date of his plea, including but not limited to pavroll, all utility bills, and all other bills, excluding the remaining mortgage on the property. It is specifically contemplated that the defendant shall clear by the date of his sentencing the debt owed to the Kirkendolls and any outstanding tax liens, mechanics liens or judgments on the property. He will forfeit his interest in any corporation holding any interest in the Gold Club. The defendant shall remove the contents of the building not to include the fixtures found in the building within seven (7) days of his plea of guilty. It is understood that the government will be present during this removal and that no removal of assets will occur without the government being on notice of the removal and present when items are removed. The defendant represents to the government that no one holds any legal or equitable interest in the Gold Club other than the defendant. The parties recognize that there may be third-party claims related to the real property upon which the Gold Club is located, in that the defendant only owns half of that property.

With regard to the forfeiture of The Gold Club, the defendant agrees to execute any documents deemed necessary by the United States to effectuate the forfeiture of his right, title and interest in that property to the United States. The defendant understands that the forfeiture is a critical part of this plea agreement and any breach will permit the Government, at its option, to withdraw the defendant's plea agreement.

The defendant additionally agrees to forfeit currency or certified funds in the amount of $5,000,000.00, all of which will be delivered to the Government before the time of sentencing. It is agreed that said forfeiture is authorized pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1963. Defendant further agrees to make full restitution to the credit card victims in this case, not to exceed $250,000.00, and make restitution to Delta Air Lines in the amount of $50,000.00. Defendant understands that the proceeds of forfeiture are not to be used for restitution and that he is responsible for the restitution to the victims. Defendant agrees to submit the full amount of restitution to the probation office at the time he is sentenced. It is agreed that this forfeiture and restitution shall be in lieu of a fine. It is further agreed that the $38,400 in molded money recovered from the search of the Gold Club shall be forfeited.

It is the intent of the Government and the defendant that this forfeiture provision shall extinguish any other indebtedness or monetary obligation which the defendant or his wife may have to the United States up to and including the date of this agreement, and it is agreed that no other legal action may be brought against defendant or his wife by the Government which is based in whole in part on evidence obtained or derived from this criminal investigation giving rise to the above-numbered indictment.

7. Defendant understands and agrees that the recommendations of the Government incorporated within the terms of the plea agreement are not binding on the District Court, and that the District Court's failure to accept one or more of the recommendations does not constitute grounds for withdrawal of the guilty plea. The defendant also agrees and understands that should the District Court's computation of the appropriate sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines differ from that of the parties' discussions or estimates, that difference does not constitute grounds for withdrawal of the guilty plea or to claim a breach of this plea agreement.

8. Understanding that 18 U.S.C. § 3742 provides for appeal by a defendant of his sentence under certain circumstances, the defendant expressly waives any and all rights conferred by 18 U.S.C. § 3742 to appeal his conviction or sentence. Defendant further expressly waives the right to appeal his conviction and/or sentence on any and all other grounds. The defendant further acknowledges that his not relying on any representations about the identity or the credibility of the Government's potential trial witnesses. The defendant waives any right to withdraw his guilty plea, or to bring a collateral attack against his conviction, if he should determine later that his assessment of the Government's case was incorrect, or if he did not receive timely disclosure of any material to which he may have claimed an entitlement under Fed.R.Crim.P. 16, Brady v. Mauland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963),
Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S.150 (1972), or any other rules or authorities dealing with pretrial disclosure of information to the defense.

Notwithstanding the above, the defendant reserves the right to file a direct appeal of an upward departure from the applicable Guidelines range which the sentencing court specifies at the time of sentencing as having been imposed pursuant to either USSG &sent; 4AI.3 (from criminal history) or &sent; 5K2.0 (from offense level). The defendant understands and agrees that his waiver as to all other Guidelines findings would still be in force and effect notwithstanding, the appealability of an upward departure.

Further, the parties agree that nothing in this agreement shall affect the Government's right and/or duty to appeal as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3742(b). However, if the United States appeals the defendant's sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3742(b), the defendant is released from his waiver.

Additionally, the defendant waives all rights, whether asserted directly or by a representative, to request or receive from any department or agency of the United States any records pertaining to the investigation or prosecution of this case, including without limitation any records that may be sought under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, or the Privacy Act of 1974. 5 U.S.C. § 552a.

9. The defendant acknowledges that he is entering into this agreement and is pleading guilty freely and voluntarily, without reliance upon any promise of benefit of any kind other than stated herein; and without threats, force, intimidation, or coercion of any kind. Defendant understands that by pleading guilty, he waives his right to continue to plead not guilty, to a trial by jury, to confront and cross-examine Government witnesses, to compel the presence of witnesses in his own behalf, to testify or not testify in his own defense, his privilege against self-incrimination, and the presumption of innocence.

1O. The defendant also acknowledges that he has read this agreement carefully and reviewed every part of it with his attorney. He acknowledges that it completely and fully states his agreement with the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. Defendant agrees that there are no other agreements, promises, undertakings, or understandings between the defendant and the Government, other than those contained in this written plea agreement.

In Open Court this ________ day of __________________, 2001.

SIGNATURE (Defendant)
STEVEN E. KAPLAN

SIGNATURE (Attorney for Defendant)
Steven Sadow

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