United States v. Cilins

Criminal Practice

, New York Law Journal


Judge William Pauley

International businessman Cilins is a citizen of, and owns a home in, France which refuses to extradite its citizens. He was arrested on a complaint arising from an investigation into bribes for mining rights in Guinea. After indictment by a federal grand jury, a magistrate judge conditioned Cilins's release on a $15 million bond secured by $5 million in cash or property, surrender of travel documents, electronically monitored home incarceration and full-time monitoring by an armed security guard. Denying the conditions' amendment or bond's modification—and granting the government's appeal of the magistrate's bail determination—district court remanded Cilins pending trial. The indictment established probable cause that Cilins committed the charged offenses—witness tampering; obstructing a criminal investigation; and destroying, altering or falsifying records in a federal investigation—for which he faced a maximum 20 year prison sentence and a guidelines range of 97 to 121 months. In addition to significant financial and foreign resources, the fact that Cilins' life was "tethered" to France favored detention. The government proved that Cilins was a serious flight risk and that no conditions reasonably assure his appearance for trial.

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