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Feds Delay Appeal On The Greens

Gerald and Patricia Green -- the only husband and wife ever convicted of FCPA offenses -- are still waiting to hear what the government will say in its appeal of their six-month jail terms.

Prosecutors last month asked for and received a 90-day extension on the deadline to file their first appellate brief, now due August 29.

In 2009, an LA jury found the Greens guilty of paying $1.8 million in bribes to Juthamas Siriwan, then-governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, in exchange for $13.5 million in contracts to produce the Bangkok film festival.

The government pushed for long prison sentences for their FCPA offenses and money laundering -- at least ten years for each of the Greens. Judge George Wu gave them six-months behind bars, followed by three years of supervised release.

After the sentencing, the DOJ filed a notice that it intended to appeal.

The Justice Department also won a forfeiture count, leaving the Greens indigent and in need of court-appointed lawyers.

Two months ago we said: If the government wins its appeal, will the Greens go back to prison? It's still not clear if that's what prosecutors want, but it could be.

Gerald Green, 79, suffers from emphysema. He served most of his jail time at Terminal Island, California. His wife was 85 miles away, in Victorville prison in Adelanto.

Mr. Green's court-appointed lawyer for the appeal will be Harold J. Krent. He's the dean and a professor at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. He told us earlier this year that he didn't know what issues the government would raise on appeal, and was waiting for the fed's first brief.

Patricia Green, 56, is represented by her court-appointed lawyer, Marilyn Bednarski of Kaye, McLane and Bednarski, a criminal defense firm in LA. She represented Mrs. Green at the trial.

Joe Palazzolo wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the delay is needed because the U.S. solicitor general hasn't authorized the appeal.

"Under Justice Department guidelines," Palazzolo wrote, "the solicitor general — Donald Verrilli Jr. was confirmed to the post earlier this month – must sign off on all government appeals. But it’s unusual for the process to take this long, which suggests there may be some disagreement within the department over how to proceed."

Gerald Green's lawyer, Harold Krent, told the WSJ, “My guess is they are considering anew whether to go forward."

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