Thursday, January 8, 2015


Things are definitely not going well for convicted (and imprisoned) master Ponzi schemer/life settlements czar Joel Steinger. He is serving a 20-year sentence confined to a hospital bed, more or less indefinitely, due to major medical issues. Last month, the District Judge in his case entered an Amended Judgment, adding a Restitution requirement to his sentence, in excess of $600m.

His appeal is in jeopardy; you may recall that, notwithstanding his guilty plea/plea agreement Steinger's attorney filed an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit. Until the brief is filed, we cannot ascertain whether his appeal can properly be taken, under the rules, or whether it is barred, on procedural or substantive grounds. Is the appeal improper ? We have not yet seen his points on appeal, and his citations to legal authorities, and therefore cannot answer that question.

The clerk of the appeals court set a December 15th deadline for the filing of his initial brief, but his counsel requested a stay in the briefing schedule, and to amend the Record on Appeal to include additional material. The Clerk declined to accept Steinger's documents for filing, stating that only at the District (trial) Court level could the record be supplemented. Steinger missed the deadline for his brief, and I wonder whether he has, in essence, abandoned his appeal.

If his counsel doesn't take immediate action, and file the brief, I fear that his appeal will be dismissed. What's the story here ? Was his attorney simply unfamiliar with the procedure through which the record is supplemented ? Is the appeal totally bogus, and without any merit ? Stay tuned.

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