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Jun 16, 2010 10:08 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Motz appeals eight-year prison sentence

Jun 16, 2010 10:08 AM

Former Quogue Village Mayor George Motz is appealing the eight-year prison sentence handed down by a federal court in late April after he was convicted of securities fraud related to the Manhattan investment firm he once headed.

Court records show that Mr. Motz’s attorney, G. Robert Gage Jr., filed a notice of appeal in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on May 5, shortly after the sentencing on April 28. No date has been set for a judge to hear Mr. Motz’s appeal, according to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Originally, Judge Arthur D. Spatt sentenced Mr. Motz to eight years in prison and ordered him to pay an as-yet-undetermined amount of restitution to victims of the five-year “cherry-picking” scheme that prosecutors say netted $2.4 million for his company. As part of that sentence, Mr. Motz would have been subject to three years of supervised release following the completion of his jail term.

The court filings do not state grounds for the appeal.

When reached Monday evening at his Quogue home, where he has been ordered to remain since his sentencing and after posting $1 million bond, Mr. Motz declined to comment on his appeal and referred all questions to his attorney. Mr. Gage did not return calls seeking comment this week, nor did Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Burlingame, the prosecutor in the case.

Mr. Motz, 68, is still scheduled to surrender to authorities on Wednesday, June 30, and report to a federal minimum security facility in Pensacola, Florida, according to the final judgment filed by Judge Spatt on May 13.

As of late last week, Mr. Motz had not yet filed a motion to remain out on bail pending the appeal. Any such motion would have to be approved by Judge Spatt.

Additionally, Mr. Motz was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine to the U.S. Attorney’s office as part of his original sentencing. The amount of restitution he will owe his victims will be determined at a later date, according to court documents.

According to federal sentencing guidelines, Mr. Motz could have received between 11¼ and 14 years in prison.

At the sentencing in April, Judge Spatt ordered that Mr. Motz be confined to his Quogue home with an electronic bracelet until the start of his prison sentence.

In October 2009, Mr. Motz, who was then the mayor of Quogue, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, a felony, following a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of Melhado, Flynn & Associates, the investment firm for which he served as CEO and president. Mr. Motz resigned from his mayoral post days later, after holding the position since 2002.

During the sentencing on April 28, Mr. Gage argued that Mr. Motz’s investment practices, while illegal, had essentially no victims and resulted in no actual monetary losses. But Judge Spatt eventually sided with Mr. Burlingame and ruled that Mr. Motz bilked 240 clients out of some $2.4 million by favoring certain stocks in a scheme that began in 2000 and lasted until 2005.

Mr. Gage also highlighted the fact that Mr. Motz did not “pocket” the money, but directed it to MFA accounts in order to keep the firm afloat. Mr. Burlingame argued that Mr. Motz benefited indirectly by bolstering his company.

The court allowed Mr. Motz to request the federal facility where he will serve his sentence. On May 12, Mr. Gage submitted a letter saying that Mr. Motz requested the minimum security facility at the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida. Records show that the court later obliged.

Peter Sartorius, who was serving as a Quogue Village trustee at the time of Mr. Motz’s guilty plea, was appointed to replace Mr. Motz as mayor in November. Mr. Sartorius is seeking election to the mayoral post on Friday, June 18, and running unopposed.

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You've got 11 days to flee the country....... Run!!!!!!!
By SirHampton (60), quogue on Jun 18, 10 5:26 PM
Gee, 8 years in a white collar country club of a prison.

Nah, he deserves more than that, and I'd say he benefited qutie nicely to afford a home in Quogue.

I would humbly request he take his medecine, and quit his whining. Stop wasting the court's time, and more taxpayer money. You took enough from many of them as it stands. He betrayed the public trust, and abused his position. Eight years is LIGHT for such a heinous manner of action.
Jun 18, 10 8:04 PM appended by Mr. Z
Man, I need spell check...
By Mr. Z (10784), North Sea on Jun 18, 10 8:04 PM
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