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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27705
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Can my record be sealed from the public by expungement? I

Customer Question

Can my record be sealed from the public by expungement? I was innocent of the charges and after 25 years of having this showing more and more on the information sites it is never going to go away. I am a Christian minister, have a happy marriage of 38 years and raised 6 great kids, have never committed a crime. I don’t even smoke or drink and yet I was convicted by an over zealous Prosecutor in order to enhance his ambitions to become a Federal Judge, in which he now is.
I was convicted of three counts of fraud in 1990 by a federal court. The offences were as follows.
1. 18 USC 371 Conspiracy to Commit Mail and (Non Guideline Counts) Wire Fraud. What I did was to sign and send out an investor letter which was written by my boss at the time who was out of town.
2. 26 USC 7206(1) Filing a False Tax Return (Guideline Count) My Accountant testified by a written letter to the court and FBI that he was the one who made the mistake on my tax return, not me.
3. 18 USC 371 Conspiracy to impede the Lawful Function of the IRS. (Non Guideline Count) I guess this count was based on the mistake that my account made.
This crime was committed by an accountant that I worked for as an investment advisor for 11 months. The Prosecutor, Gary Sharp said to me behind closed doors, that he knew that I was innocent, but that I should have known what my boss was doing wrong by going through his files. I stated this on the record during my sentencing. He also said to me that he was personally going to destroy my life.
However, the FBI, the Probation Department and the Parole Board all confidentially apologized to me and said they knew I was innocent and a victim of circumstances. , but there was nothing I could do.
My question is, can my record, after 25 years be sealed by expungement? And is it possible to get a Presidental pardon, of which I after years of trying to find the process of “Relief From Disability” I have been sent around in circles until I finally gave up.
Is there help?
Rev. George P. Youket
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello, Unfortunately, your charges are not NYS charges but Federal charges, and except for those young adults who are sentenced to the Federal government's drug diversion program, there is no provision in the law to expunge a Federal offense. There is such a thing as an equitable expungement, however. That is, a judge has the power to grant a petition for an expungement even when the law does not specifically provide for one. He can grant the motion in the interest of justice. Judges do not like to use their powers under equity frivolously. They would require a compelling reason to seal a record that the government wants you to carry. However, with no further difficulty with the law in 20 years and with your present profession and community standing, a judge might be willing to grant such a petition. In any case, it would be easier to get the petition granted than to secure a presidential pardon. Federal law is split about whether it is proper for a Federal court to grant an equitable expungement at all. But the 2nd Circuit is on your side of this issue. This is not something you should try for yourself without a lawyer. But it's an avenue you can pursue. It's certainly worth a consultation with a local Federal criminal attorney to find out whether he believes he can get your old case sealed in the interest of justice. As for whether it is possible to get a presidential pardon, I can only say that it's not impossible. It is, however, very unlikely under the present administration. Each President can decide for himself how liberally he wants to exercise his pardon power. President Obama's been notably stingy with his. You might want to wait until after November. Best of luck!
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.