Lucchese mobster Eugene “Boobsie” Castelle tries to get out of prison, again
The Staten Island resident contends, in a pro-se motion, he was led astray by his lawyer.
The defendant, who is serving a 77-month sentence after being convicted at trial of running an illegal gambling business and racketeering conspiracy, had rejected the government’s offer of eight to 14 months behind bars prior to his trial two years ago.
Castelle maintains he nixed that deal because his attorney, Gerald J. McMahon, had miscalculated his likely sentence if he was convicted at trial.
McMahon told him he faced 33 to 41 months behind bars if found guilty of those charges, said Castelle, who public records indicate lives in Annadale.
However, Manhattan federal court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein determined the sentencing guidelines to be 51-63 months in prison.
As it turned out, Hellerstein hit Castelle with 77 months, which is 14 months above his own interpretation of the guidelines’ maximum.
Judges are not bound by the guidelines in imposing sentence.
Castelle contends McMahon failed to do his homework in estimating the guidelines range.
“Pointedly, had counsel accurately advised movant, he would have accepted the government’s 8-to-14-month plea offer,” wrote Castelle.
As it stands, Castelle’s anticipated release date is in September 2025.
Ordered by the judge to respond within 30 days, McMahon didn’t waste any time.
Or mince words.
“Castelle’s assertions are factually incorrect,” McMahon wrote the court. “Whether the post-trial guidelines were 33-41 months, 51-63 months, or some different numbers entirely, the fact is that Castelle wanted a trial, regardless.”
“Having just triumphed (with the undersigned as counsel) in a racketeering case in Brooklyn Supreme Court, which included among other charges the gambling case with co-defendant Anthony Greco, Castelle wanted a dismissal or trial in SDNY (Southern District of New York – Manhattan federal court),” McMahon wrote.
In support, McMahon pointed to an excerpt from Castelle’s sentencing transcript, which the defendant included in his motion.
“My client wanted the trial. Notwithstanding what his attorney recommended, my client wanted a trial, and he got a trial,” the transcript quoted McMahon as saying.
In fact, the lawyer said he had “strongly recommended” that Castelle accept prosecutors’ 8-to-14-months plea offer.
McMahon said he emphasized to Castelle he could only estimate the guideline range.
Moreover, he said he told the defendant prosecutors would likely seek a higher sentence, and the court could put him behind bars for up to 20 years.
The lawyer even took a shot at the judge.
Hellerstein increased the sentencing range after finding that Castelle had extorted Greco, his gambling partner and former state court defendant, wrote McMahon.
But no jury found that Castelle extorted Greco, McMahon said. And Manhattan federal prosecutors never charged Castelle with extorting Greco, he said.
“It certainly was not unreasonable or ‘wrong’ for counsel not to anticipate such an unwarranted — indeed, made-up — enhancement,” wrote McMahon.
Prosecutors must respond to Castelle’s motion by Aug. 8, after which the defendant has 30 days to reply.
No date has been set for a ruling.
Original article here.