Victims of the NY Bagel Franchise Scam are urged to submit their Victim Impact Statements ASAP. Help drafting your statement is available. Sean Kelly
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Dear NY Bagel Scam Victim:
As you may know, Dennis Mason has pled guilty in federal court to Conspiracy and Wire Fraud, and Joe Smith had pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion.
Currently, Dennis Mason’s sentencing hearing (USA v. MASON 2:20-cr-00199-GJP) is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, 10 a.m. and Joe Smith’s (USA v. SMITH 2:20-cr-00354-GJP) is scheduled for May 24, 2022, 10:00 a.m. (However, hearing dates have frequently been rescheduled into the future).
NY Bagel Scam victims are urged to submit brief Victim Impact Statements to the court and Judge Gerald Pappert prior to the sentencing Dennis Mason and Joseph Smith.
According to the Department of Justice web page, a Victim Impact Statement provides you with the opportunity to communicate what you and your family have experienced as a result of their crimes.
It will help the judge determine what sentence the defendants should receive.
Importantly, the Victim Impact Statement “is used by the Judge to determine any money the defendant may have to pay you for expenses you have paid or money you owe because of the crime.”
The Victim Impact Statement is an important part of the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR) prepared by the U.S. Probation Office… [which] The PSR helps the judge determine the proper sentence to impose. [DOJ website]
Please submit your Victim Impact Statement ASAP
You can provide your Victim Impact Statement in any format that’s easy and comfortable for you. Here are some questions you could answer in your Victim Impact Statement:
1) Financial impact: How much did you lose financially, in total, to the NY Bagel scam? How long did it take for you to save that money? How long will it take for you to recover financially?
2) Impact on family & friends: What impact has the NY Bagel Scam had on your family and your family relationships? Your marriage? With your relationships with friends or associates who may have invested?
3) Personal & emotional impact: How has the NY Bagel scam affected you emotionally? On your outlook on life of business? On your confidence in our legal system?
4) Desired outcome(s)*: What outcome(s) would you like to see from the prosecution of Joe Smith & Dennis Mason?
The Victim Impact Statement is also a way to tell Joseph Smith and Dennis Mason what you and your family have suffered because of their actions.
According to the DOJ: “It is important to know that written victim impact statements are usually seen by the defendant and the defense attorney. However, any personal identifying information such as the victim’s name is redacted.”**
If you are willing to do so, copy us in confidence at UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail[dot]com (your name or identifying information will never be disclosed).
**Desired Outcomes You May Want to Request
Here are some possible outcomes victims may want to request. Feel free to copy and paste some or all requests from this list into your Victim Impact Statement:
- Maximum allowable jail time
- Requirement that Dennis Mason & Joe Smith’s seized assets be used to repay victims
- Requirement that Dennis Mason & Joe Smith continue to pay into a victim fund until fully repaid
- Lifetime ban forbidding Defendants from ever selling franchises, business opportunities or other investments again
- Immediate removal of all NY Bagel Cafe, NYC Bagel and Sandwich Shoppe, Davidovich NYC Bagel and promotional content from the Internet
- Immediate removal of all online attacks and threats targeting whistleblower publisher Sean Kelly and his family members
- Investigation and appropriate prosecution of all 3rd parties who assisted and or profited from this criminal enterprise, including suspected financial predators Howard Fichman, “Charles Simmons,” Seed Capital, builder/architect Ben Catarinicchia (ZACS International), partner Davidovich Bagel Bakery, Mark Zirogiannis aka Marc Fintz, Gene Davidovich, Niko Rittgers and Craig’s List?
- That victim repayment also be sought from 3rd parties that profited from and received payment from victims of this criminal enterprise
- That a public awareness campaign be undertaken that includes statements & press releases that convey the true financial and personal devastation caused to hundreds of victims and their families by these defendants over the past decade, and a stated commitment to prosecute such blatant predators to the fullest extent of the law
Do You Need Assistance With Your Victim Impact Statement?
If you need assistance with writing, editing or translating your Victim Impact Statement, contact Sean Kelly of UnhappyFranchisee.com and the NY Bagel Scam Victims coalition at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail[dot] com or NYBagelFranchiseScam@gmail.com.
Victim Witness Coordinator Elizabeth Rosales’ Contact information is (215) 861-8591 Elizabeth.Rosales@usdoj.gov .
Judge Gerald Pappert & Staff:
Jeffrey Lucini, Courtroom Deputy/Criminal
You May Also Request the Opportunity to Speak at the Sentencing Hearing
According to the DOJ website, you also have the option to submit a written statement AND give an oral statement at sentencing…
An oral statement at the sentencing allows the judge to hear your voice and its inflections and to put a face to the crime committed. If you would like to speak at the sentencing, it is important to contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office Victim Witness Coordinator as soon as possible. The Victim Witness Coordinator will help you prepare to provide an oral statement.
Numerous delays and scheduling changes, as well as geographical distances, and COVID have made unfortunately made participation in the hearing process very difficult so far.
However, if you with to provide a Victim Impact Statement in-person or to request submission via phone or video, please contact the Victim Services Coordinator Elizabeth Gonzales (see below) as soon as possible.
Your Victim Impact Statement May Save Future Potential Victims
I know you have been through a lot already. If you filed complaints or participated in the state or federal investigations, you likely feel that you’ve already put forth a lot of effort.
Many of you just want to forget, put the whole painful ordeal behind you and move on.
I understand. However, this one last effort may save future potential victims from suffering the same horrible ordeal you and your family have endured.
So please, submit a Victim Impact Statement to the court, and email a copy to Sean Kelly to include (anonymously) in his expose on the NY Bagel Franchise Scam.
If you or someone you know would like to contribute to our ongoing reporting and advocacy effort, please visit our We Stopped a Scam Go Fund Me page.