Just to recap some of the things that were brought up in court by attorney for Alicia DiMichele, in a statement filed in Brooklyn federal court last week when DiMichele presented herself before the judge for sentencing.
– [That show] is scripted and edited like any other [show], with scenes and lines taken out of context for dramatic effect.”
– “In reality the show is about a group of women, loosely connected by their so-called affiliation with organized crime, arguing and fighting amongst themselves over petty grievances for the viewing pleasure of people who have no lives of their own.”
– “The sad fact of 21st century life is that people will pay large sums of money to produce shows of this nature, which pander to the basest instincts of a society growing less intelligent by the day.”
Wallenstein, like any good advocate, is trying to get his client, Alicia DiMichele Garofalo, 39, the best deal possible. She is facing up to six months behind bars, though prosecutors have agreed they would support her attorney’s request for non-jail probation.
The next wall prosecutors and Wallenstein face is agreeing on how much Alicia will be fined. Currently prosecutors are seeking to fine her to the tune of $116,000 for embezzling $40,000 from a trucking company, which doesn’t seem fair on any level.
Here’s the drop:
The fine is meant to be punitive: prosecutors had learned DiMichele is earning $8,000 per episode of “Mob Wives,” for a total of $96,000; hence, they are seeking to add $96,000 to the $20,000 restitution that Wallenstein and the prosecutors had originally agreed to.
Noted prosecutors in court papers: “The defendant’s decision to participate in and profit from a television show that glorifies organized crime and those who participate in it, and demonizes the government for prosecuting these individuals, including (DiMichele), demonstrates that she fails to appreciate the seriousness of the charged crime and her life choices.”
Last Monday, as reported by Jerry Capeci in his weekly GanglandNews.com column, “Wallenstein argued long and hard for [the Honorable Sandra L. Townes, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York] to impose sentencing and deal later with an extraneous restitution claim by Local 282 of the Teamsters Union.”
Judge Townes’ response: “Absolutely not.” According to Capeci, Townes wanted more details, so she put off the sentencing. No future date was set, but it could happen sometime in March.
DiMichele, not happy with the delay, has told All About The Real Housewives: “The judge postponed my sentencing because my restitution issue is not yet resolved. Therefore, she cannot sentence me until that part is settled. They think maybe some time in March I’ll be sentenced, but they are not sure. I am beyond frustrated.”
Wallenstein’s statement, as pieced together from various news sources:
Prosecutors are demanding a “vastly excessive” $96,000 fine; the reality show “Mob Wives” caters “to people who have no lives of their own.”
The show does not “demonize the government” or “glorify organize crime and those who participate in it.”
“Ms. DiMichele makes clear in the show that she is devastated by the position she finds herself in, and regrets what she has done. She expresses anger at her husband, remorse for her acts, and accepts that she will be punished at sentencing.
“Acting in a television show, regardless of its content, is not a criminal act. Had she chosen to act in a prime time show like Mad Men or NCIS, for example, would the government argue that everything she earned should be taken?” Mob Wives “is scripted and edited like any other (show), with scenes and lines taken out of context for dramatic effect.
“Anyone who has seen any of the episodes in which Ms. DiMichele appears would draw the conclusion that it hardly glorifies ‘mob’ lifestyle. In reality the show is about a group of women, loosely connected by their so-called affiliation with organized crime, arguing and fighting amongst themselves over petty grievances for the viewing pleasure of people who have no lives of their own.
“The show essentially portrays five women who argue and engage in physical altercations over ridiculous things, and the only common element is that each of them has some distant connection to a man who is alleged to have ties to organized crime.
“The sad fact of 21st century life is that people will pay large sums of money to produce shows of this nature, which pander to the basest instincts of a society growing less intelligent by the day.”
In closing, Wallenstein (we paraphrase here) also noted that probation officials approved his client’s decision to appear on the show and added that his client can’t afford to pay the amount of restitution. Minus taxes and personal expenses, DiMichele actually will earn about $53,000 for her appearing on the show. The recommended guideline fine is between $1,000 and $10,000, according to Wallenstein.