Giannos sentenced to 3 years jail, Stanfield 12 months
As scheduled, Nicolas Giannos and Rosita Stanfield’s sentencing hearing took place last Friday.
The duo were found guilty of recruiting victims into the uFun Club Ponzi scheme in late December.
Giannos’ initial sentence was four years, with Rosita Stanfield’s sentence coming in at three. Citing “good character” and Giannos’ foreign-national status in Samoa, Chief Justice Patu reduced Giannos sentence to three years.
Stanfield was also treated as a foreign-national, ‘as she spent all her life living overseas’. Along with “good character”, her sentenced was reduced down from three years to twelve months.
Patū also took into account the fact that the $41,149.00, received from investors has been returned to investors.
However, he said that the crime with which the defendants have been charged with was very serious.
“This is clearly a highly planned, premeditated and calculated plan,” said Patū.
Despite a conviction and jail sentence, Giannos and Stanfield will remain at large until their appeal is heard.
The application to appeal the sentence was only filed today after the Court delivered its sentence.
(Defense attorney) Leota said the appeals could not be heard in the current Court of Appeal sitting which started today, as they have a full schedule already.
The next sitting of the Court of Appeal will be in October, and Leota hopes his clients’ application will be heard then.
Update October 5th 2016 – Last month Nicolas Giannos’ and Rosita Stanfield’s appeals were denied.
Giannos did manage to get his conviction for false accounting overturned but this had no bearing on his sentence.
the samoa court is really giving a lot of leeway to giannos and stanfield.
the court has recognized them as ‘foreigners’, and so the chance of them fleeing is high.
it is possible that their sentences will get further reduced at appeal.
It is my understanding that the appeal is of their conviction, not their sentence. It is why they didn’t show at the sentencing hearing as their attorney thought it had been cancelled due to his filing an appeal.
They filed an appeal of their conviction before sentencing, and tried to use that to delay sentencing.
That was rejected and they were sentenced, after which they also filed an appeal against sentencing (which won’t be heard until October).