Law Centers for Consumer Protection
If you are a victim listed on the restitution distribution list, please make sure the U.S. Attorney’s Office has your current mailing address. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org
to update your address.
May 9, 2013
On May 2, 2013, less than two weeks after oral argument, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York affirmed Andrew Capoccia’s resentencing. The court rejected all of Capoccia’s attacks on his convictions and sentence in an unpublished summary order. Capoccia has 90 days to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision of the Court of Appeals. We believe there is virtually no possibility the Supreme Court will take up the case. We are hopeful that the Department of Justice will agree to begin sending out restitution payments as soon as the time for applying for Supreme Court review expires, or any request for review filed by Capoccia is denied.
March 21, 2013
Oral Arguments in U.S. v. Capoccia have been set for April 19th in Syracuse.
December 12, 2012
The appeal filed by Mr. Capoccia remains pending at the Second Circuit. We are awaiting notice from the Court on whether oral argument will be scheduled.
February 28, 2012
The District Court judge has agreed to include the forfeited funds in with all other funds for restitution and agreed to allow distribution as soon as the forfeited money is released. The United States Attorney’s Office will work with the DOJ Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section to release the money as soon as possible. However, because Mr. Capoccia continues to litigate his sentence, including the restitution judgment, we must proceed carefully.
October 5, 2011
On October 4th, the Court resentenced Andrew Capoccia, giving him the same 188 month sentence he originally received. The court indicated a willingness to sign a final order of forfeiture. The government will be submitting that to the Court in the next few days. Once the final order is signed the government will seek permission to finalize the restoration order so the U.S. Marshals can transfer the forfeited assets to the Court. Once these steps are completed, hopefully the restitution distribution can begin. The Court Clerk’s office estimates that it will take several months for the distribution to take place once the process starts. The Government expects Andrew Capoccia to appeal the sentence. The Government believes that the appeal should not delay the distribution as Andrew Capoccia has already, unsuccessfully, appealed the preliminary forfeiture order.
September 14, 2011
The resentencing date in U.S. v. Capoccia has been postponed until October 4th at 10:00 am. Thank you for your continued patience.
August 09, 2011
The new date for the resentencing of Andrew Capoccia has been scheduled for September 28th, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in U.S. District Court, located in Brattleboro, Vermont.
June 30, 2011
The re-sentencing date scheduled for July 28th has been postponed until the pre-sentence report is completed. No new date has been set yet.
May 19, 2011
Today, the District Court issued a Memorandum and Order Dismissing the Petition filed by Strassberg and Strassberg on behalf of Carol Capoccia LLC and Valentino Enterprises, Inc. The Petition asserted a property interest in assets that have been ordered forfeited in the criminal case. In his decision today, the Honorable J. Garvan Murtha ruled that the Petition was untimely, service of process in the related civil forfeiture proceeding was effective, and there was no improper restraint of the assets in question while the criminal case against Andrew Capoccia was pending. The Court’s decision brings the forfeiture proceedings in the District Court to a close in the criminal case. A final order of forfeiture will issue following Andrew Capoccia’s resentencing this summer.
May 03, 2011
Andrew Capoccia will be resentenced on July 28, 2011 at 10 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Brattleboro. The Court of Appeal ordered resentencing after two money laundering counts were dismissed. He will be resentenced on the remaining 11 counts of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and interstate transportation and receipt of stolen money. At resentencing, the court will also enter a revised order of restitution (including some victims who were not included in the original order). We also expect the Court will issue a final order of forfeiture at that time or shortly thereafter.
After resentencing, it is expected that Mr. Capoccia will appeal the resentence to the Court of Appeals. Mr. Capoccia is representing himself at resentencing.
Feburary 11, 2011
In January 2011, the law firm Strassberg and Strassberg in New York filed a petition for an ancillary proceeding in the criminal case claiming an interest in the assets subject to forfeiture. The Government has moved to dismiss the petition on various grounds. In addition, Mr. Capoccia has filed an opposition to the Government’s request that the Court issue an amended final order of forfeiture, claiming that the Court must wait until his resentencing is completed. He also argues that the proposed amended final order of forfeiture is deficient. The Government will file a reply to Mr. Capoccia’s opposition paper on or before February 18, 2011.
December 9, 2010
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court’s August 19, 2009 Amended Preliminary Order of Forfeiture in which the District Court ordered forfeiture of all of the assets seized in 2002 and issued a money judgment. This is a significant step toward distribution of the assets to victims. We must now await the District Court’s resentencing of Mr. Capoccia so that we can obtain an enforceable restitution order.
October 25, 2010
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has scheduled oral argument on the forfeiture appeal for Monday, November 22, 2010 in New York City. We are hopeful that the Second Circuit’s decision on the case will be rendered shortly thereafter.
June 14, 2010
April 5, 2010
In early March, we received Capoccia's Second Circuit brief regarding the forfeiture issues on appeal. Our responsive Brief is not due until mid-June. Following the filing of our brief, Capoccia's attorney will have an opportunity to file a Reply Brief. The Court may then schedule oral argument or decide the case on the written briefs. In either event, we likely won't have a decision from the Second Circuit for several months after the briefing is completed.
November 17, 2009
On August 25, 2009, Andrew Capoccia filed an appeal regarding the forfeiture decision that Judge Murtha ordered on August 19, 2009. His lawyer will have until March, 2010, to file a brief. The government will then have an opportunity to file a responsive brief. The case will likely go to oral argument before the Second Circuit issues a decision. After we get a decision from the appellate court, we have to send notice and then move for a final order of forfeiture (assuming the Second Circuit affirms our win in the district court).
August 24, 2009
On August 19, 2009, the U.S. District Court ordered the forfeiture of all of the assets seized from Andrew Capoccia and his wife, or their agents. This order is founded on evidence presented at a hearing in July 2009 and on various prior filings by the parties in this case in response to the remand ordered by the Second Circuit. The Court ruled in favor of the United States on all issues.
This new order amends a prior order of forfeiture concerning the same assets---however, the new order identifies specifically the assets linked to the criminal conviction of Mr. Capoccia, as directed by the Second Circuit. The amended order also specifies that assets not specifically linked to the crimes of conviction are forfeited under a different theory. The order is entitled “Amended Preliminary Order of Forfeiture” and will lead to an Amended Final Order of Forfeiture after publication of notice of the forfeiture and a period of time for new claims to be filed. However, anyone who has already filed a claim to the assets in a prior proceeding in this case should not do so again. The United States Attorney’s Office is hopeful that the anticipated Amended Final Order of Forfeiture will be issued within a few months. We anticipate that Mr. Capoccia will again appeal the final court decision to the Second Circuit.
August 5, 2009
On July 29, 2009, the District Court held a hearing on the remanded forfeiture issues. At that hearing the Government presented evidence to show that the monies in various seized accounts were either proceeds of the crimes of conviction or could be forfeited as substitute assets. At the close of the hearing, the District Court set deadlines for post-hearing filings. The Government will submit its papers on August 7, 2009, and the Defendant will submit any responsive papers by August 12, 2009.
July 14, 2009
The hearing that was scheduled for today, July 14, 2009 has been rescheduled for July 29th at 10:00 to be held at the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont.
May 5, 2009
The hearing on June 3rd has now been postponed to July 14th at 10:00am in Brattleboro.
April 17, 2009
A hearing on the remanded forfeiture issues has been set for June 3, 2009 at 10:30 am at the US District Court in Brattleboro, Vermont. At this hearing, the Court will consider evidence concerning the recalculation of the seized assets that are directly forfeitable in the criminal case. In addition, the United States has asked that the Court determine that the remaining seized assets be forfeited as substitute assets. It is uncertain how soon after the June 3, 2009 hearing the Court will issue its decision. In a recent order, the Court stated that a final decision on the forfeiture matters will not be issued until a judgment has been entered on an appeal by Capoccia that is currently pending at the Second Circuit.
January 26, 2009
On January 26, 2009, the court issued an order denying the United States’ second request to distribute to the victims certain assets not in dispute in the current forfeiture proceeding (approximately $1.4 million). The court’s order also indicates that it would like to resolve the remaining forfeiture issues as soon as possible, which would then allow for the distribution of all forfeited assets. The court has set a February 10, 2009 deadline for the filing of memoranda on issues related to the assets still in dispute.
January 13, 2009
The U.S. Attorney’s office is filing a memo in the Capoccia forfeiture proceeding requesting that the Court consider a partial distribution of the seized assets (all but Accounts 1 and 2) and the rest of the money collected for restitution to date. It will be about $1.4M. The U.S. Attorney’s Office had requested a partial distribution last summer, but the court didn’t grant it because it appeared the proceedings would be complete in relatively short order. Because we now anticipate the final order of forfeiture as to Accounts 1 and 2 will not be resolved anytime soon, it seems worthwhile to move forward with this now. Given the economy, it would be nice to give victims something now rather than force them to wait until the district court proceeding and an appeal on the forfeiture of Accounts 1 and 2 is completed.
September 29, 2008
On September 25, 2008 the Court held a status conference in U.S. v. Capoccia to decide future procedure on the portions of the forfeiture order reversed by the Second Circuit court of Appeals and remanded to the district court. The Government asked the Court if it would grant permission to distribute the uncontested funds, but the Court refused. It also refused Capoccia's request for a delay in all proceedings until the Second Circuit rules on his latest appeals. Instead, it required both sides to file briefs on several issues - the way to calculate and apply the theory of substitute assets, the propriety of issuing money judgments, the proper rules to use in tracing money through different accounts, and what sort of evidentiary hearings, if any, may still be required. Both sides are to file by November 10, with reply briefs by December 1. The Government must also respond to several motions filed by Andrew Capoccia pro se - before his latest lawyer was appointed for him - by October 10.
September 2, 2008
The U.S. District Court has rescheduled the date and time of the Status Conference in U.S. v. Cappocia to September 25, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. in the U.S. District Court in Brattleboro.
August 26, 2008
The U.S. District Court has rescheduled the date and time of the Status Conference in U.S. v. Cappocia to September 18, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. in the U.S. District Court in Brattleboro. It was originally scheduled for September 9, 2008 at 10:30 a.m.
July 10, 2008
The U.S. District Court has set a Status Conference in U.S. v. Cappocia for September 9, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. to take place in the U.S. District Court in Brattleboro. The U.S. Attorney's Office will be asking the Court to release those funds which were ordered forfeited by the District Court and which were not part of the funds for which the Circuit Court ordered more hearings.
June 19, 2008
On June 19th, 2008, the United States Attorney's Office filed with the United States District Court in Brattleboro a request for an immediate hearing and for permission to distribute approximately $2.6 million to the victims in this case. The United States' memorandum to the court asserts that $1.6 million of this amount has been ordered forfeited by the District Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that order, and therefore this money should be released and distributed to the victims of Capoccia's fraud. The United States has also requested permission to distribute to victims the approximately $1 Million transferred to the District Court from the Bankruptcy Court. The District Court has not yet set a hearing on the government's request.
April 11, 2008
On January 12, 2008, the U.S. District Court appointed new counsel for Andrew Capoccia. His attorney has recently filed a motion requesting that Capoccia be returned to Vermont and that he be given time to consult with his client before providing the court with his views on how the case should proceed. Based on this motion, the District Court has ordered that Andrew Capoccia be returned to Vermont and that his attorney submit his views on how the case should proceed by May 18, 2008. Thereafter, the District Court will set the case for a hearing. While this Office has no control over the District Court's calendar, it will request the District Court set a hearing date promptly. Andrew Capoccia will remain in jail in Vermont while this proceeding takes place. This Office will post the date of the forfeiture hearing as soon as the District Court schedules it.
September 19, 2007
In February 2006, United States district judge J. Garvan Murtha sentenced Andrew Capoccia to 188 months of imprisonment after a jury found Capoccia guilty on 13 counts of fraud and money laundering. The court also ordered that Capoccia pay restitution totaling more than $7 million and ordered Capoccia to forfeit his interest in about $2.9 million that was seized during the Law Centers investigation.
In two separate appeals, Capoccia appealed his conviction, sentence and the forfeiture order to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City. On September 19, 2007, the appeals court issued written decisions on both appeals.
In the main appeal addressing Capoccia's conviction and sentence, the appeals court affirmed Capoccia's conviction, sentence and restitution order. Capoccia is currently in federal prison in Pennsylvania serving that sentence.
With respect to the second appeal, the Second Circuit partially reversed the district court's final order of forfeiture. The Second Circuit decided that the district court did not have a proper basis to order forfeiture of assets taken by Capoccia before May 24, 2000. The Court based its decision on its finding that Capoccia's conviction was not based on any events taking place before that date and that the government therefore could not win forfeiture of money taken by actions for which Capoccia was not convicted.
The decision did not affect the parts of the forfeiture order concerning money taken after May 24, 2000. The appellate court suggested but did not decide that $1,114,770 of the forfeited money had been taken before the cutoff date. The appellate court also ordered that the case be sent back to the district court for further proceedings in line with the ruling.
We expect the district court to hold a hearing to decide how much of the seized money is affected by the ruling and to decide how to proceed with regard to that money. We anticipate seeking to have the district court order that the money affected by the ruling now be used to satisfy the money judgment of $6,247,581 the government won against Capoccia. We also may seek to reopen the civil forfeiture case against Capoccia, which has been stayed for several years.
We fully expect to continue to seek forfeiture of all Capoccia's assets and to distribute those assets to Capoccia's victims.
May 23, 2007
Andrew Capoccia is currently in a federal prison in Pennsylvania serving his 188-month sentence. He has appealed his conviction and sentence. Among other things, Capoccia is arguing that trial errors entitle him to a new trial; that the court improperly ordered him to pay more than $7,000,000 in restitution and that the order forfeiting about $3,000,000 for the benefit of victims was illegal. The Government has vigorously opposed Capoccia's appeal.
On March 29, 2007, the U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral argument on Capoccia's appeal. It usually takes several months for the appeals court to render its decisions, and no decision has yet been handed down.
If the appeals court affirms Capoccia's convictions and the forfeiture and restitution orders, the court will then begin the process of distributing restitution. When all of this may happen cannot be predicted with any certainty.
Please continue to check our website for further updates.
July 12, 2006
On February 2, 2006, the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont entered a Preliminary Order of Forfeiture, ordering the forfeiture of certain property to the United States that the Court found constituted the proceeds of the crimes for which Andrew Capoccia was convicted. That property is listed in the Preliminary Order of Forfeiture. It is worth slightly less than $3 million. The Preliminary Order of Forfeiture deprived Andrew Capoccia of all his interest in the property but allowed any other person with a legal interest in the property to file a petition with the Court for that interest.
Posted here is a draft version of a Petition (Draft Petition) , which persons who wish to file a legal claim to the property can complete. The Petition form requires that the person set forth the nature and extent of his or her interest, set forth facts in support of their interest, and sign the Petition under penalty of perjury. Also posted is a Notice of Forfeiture that notifies you of the address of the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Attorney’s Office where the Petition must be filed.
The Government may respond to and oppose any Petition and may request discovery to learn the basis for the claim. The Court thereafter may set a hearing date. After any hearings are completed, the Court will enter a Final Order of Forfeiture disposing of the property either to the Government or, in part, to claimants. No part of the forfeited money will be distributed to any victim or claimant at least until after Andrew Capoccia’s appeals have been resolved, which will probably take at least a year.
The Court has ordered a procedure for restitution to the victims of Andrew Capoccia’s crimes. That decision ordered the Government to notify, by letter, all such victims or anyone who filed a claim in the Bankruptcy Court of this procedure. The Government provided such notice and received claims from approximately 3,800 victims. By order dated May 4, 2006, the Court determined the amounts of restitution due to each victim and used those amounts in ordering Capoccia and other Defendants to pay restitution as part of their sentences.
The Government has announced that it plans to transfer all the funds that are forfeited to the Court to be used to help pay the restitution the Court ordered on May 4, 2006, as described below. Even with the use of those funds, Capoccia’s victims will not receive full repayment and they will not receive any payment until after the resolution of Andrew Capoccia’s appeals. The Government therefore plans to oppose any petitions filed in the forfeiture proceeding because it believes the forfeited funds should be used to help pay restitution to the victims in the manner ordered by the Court.
Any person who has a legal interest in any of the property may file a Petition. However, anyone who is listed on the Restitution Distribution Order List (3MB Adobe Acrobat.pdf file, 68 pages). does not need to file any such Petition to be considered a victim and to be part of the restitution process.
June 23, 2006
Carol Capoccia Indicted. See Press Release below
May 4, 2006
On May 4, 2006, the district court entered a final order of restitution. The order directed Andrew Capoccia to pay restitution totaling $7,256,433.60 to 3885 former clients of the Law Centers. The Government hopes that approximately $4,000,000 that has been seized will eventually be made available for restitution, but that money cannot be distributed until all appeals are exhausted, which will probably take a year or longer.
The judge ruled that restitution would be determined using the Law Center’s database. If your name was in the database, our office sent you a letter asking you to reply to us with a current address. The final database is comprised of names of people that replied to us by May 1st and were on the Law Center’s database and listed as being owed money. This list can be viewed by clicking here--> Restitution Distribution Order List (3MB Adobe Acrobat.pdf file, 68 pages).
Please note that the amounts listed in the Restitution Distribution Order are the amounts the Court ordered Andrew Capoccia to pay, but there is no guarantee that each victim will receive full restitution. The amounts distributed by the Government from the assets seized thus far will be distributed on a pro rata basis.
Pursuant to the Court’s order, if you are not on this list, you will not receive restitution.
January 5, 2006
If you recently received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office about restitution, you should read the letter carefully and follow its instructions. If you believe you are entitled to restitution from the Law Centers, you must check the yes box on the letter and return a copy to the U.S. Attorney’s Office within 30 days of the mailing of the letter. If you fail to reply, or reply late, you will not be considered for restitution.
It is very unlikely any restitution will be paid until Andrew Capoccia’s appeal of any sentence is final. It often takes a year or more for a criminal appeal to be decided.
Because this case involves thousands of victims, we are unable to speak directly with individual victims or inform victims how much money they are owed by the Law Centers.
September 14, 2005 - Update - Sentencing for Andrew Capoccia has been postponed to February 3, 2006
The sentencing of Andrew Capoccia, who was found guilty by a jury on 13 counts of fraud, interstate transportation of stolen money and money laundering, has been postponed until February 3, 2006. This delay became necessary when Capoccia was permitted to fire the attorney who represented him at trial. Capoccia now has a new attorney and that lawyer needs time to familiarize himself with the case, study the transcripts of the trial and prepare for the sentencing and forfeiture hearings. A hearing on the Government's motion to forfeit Capoccia's interest in nearly $3 million that has been seized during this investigation will take place in U.S. District Court in Brattleboro on December 7, 2005.
The sentencings of the six other defendants who have pleaded guilty have not yet been scheduled, but it is anticipated that a number of those individuals will be sentenced before Capoccia.
May 4, 2005 - Update - Sentencing for Dinatale, Daly and Sinnott has been continued
The Sentencing for Shirley Dinatale, Thomas J. Daly and Howard Sinnott, originally scheduled for Monday, May 9th, has been continued. Date to be rescheduled.
May 2, 2005 - Update - Sentencing for Dinatale, Daly and Sinnott on May 9th, 2005
Sentencing for the following will be held at the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office, 204 Main St., Brattleboro, Vermont.
- Shirley Dinatale -- May 9th at 10:00am
- Thomas J. Daly -- May 9th at 11:00am
- Howard Sinnott -- May 9th at 1:00pm
The dates or times may change. Please confirm the date and time prior to the day of the hearing.
April 13, 2005 - Update - Sentencing for Capoccia on July 25th, 2005
The Andrew F. Capoccia sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 25th at 11:00am, at the U.S. Post Office and Courthouse, Brattleboro, Vermont. This date is subject to change. Please confirm the date and time closer to the day of the hearing.
April 5, 2005 - Update - Guilty Verdict
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that a federal jury in Brattleboro today found Andrew F. Capoccia, 62, of Guilderland, NY, guilty on 13 charges of conspiracy; interstate transmittal and transportation of stolen money; mail and wire fraud; receiving stolen money and money laundering. U.S. District Judge J. Garvan Murtha permitted Capoccia to remain free on conditions pending sentencing, which has tentatively been set for July 25.
For futher information, see Press Release (.pdf format): Press Release Dated April 5, 2005
March 23, 2005 - Update
The prosecution’s case in U.S. v. Capoccia will likely rest by the end of this week or the beginning of next week, April 1st. Sinnot and Daly both testified this week and the defendant, Andrew Capoccia, may testify next week in the defense case. The evidence portion of the trial should wrap up by April 4th, 2005. A verdict can be expected sometime thereafter.
March 9, 2005 - Update
The trial for Andrew Capoccia began on March 8th in Brattleboro, Vermont. A number of victims are slated to testify and this website will be updated as events unfold.
Codefendants Dinatale, Daly and Sinnott have all entered pleas of guilty and are all tentatively scheduled to be sentenced on May 9th. Due to the complexity of the case and the large number of victims, it is possible that there may be a delay in the sentencing date.
* * *
In late January 2003, the Law Centers for Consumer Protection, formerly the Andrew F. Capoccia Law Centers, was forced into bankruptcy and went out of business. When LCCP closed its doors, it appears that it owed thousands of current and past clients more than $20 million in fees that the clients had paid.
The United States Attorney's Office has obtained a 20 count indictment charging seven persons with a variety of frauds stemming from the activities of LCCP. Those defendants are: Andrew Capoccia, the founder of LCCP; Howard Sinnott, an owner of LCCP; Thomas Daly, an attorney-employee of LCCP; Shirley DiNatale, the former chief of accounting at LCCP; Rodger Kolsky, a former manager of LCCP; Carol Capoccia, Andrew Capoccia's wife; and Carlo Spano, a friend of the Capoccias. Those seven defendants have all pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. Pre-trial proceedings are underway. Trial of this case probably cannot begin before late summer or fall. Two other former employees of LCCP, Jerry Forkey and Stephanie Gardner, have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with prosecutors.
In the course of this investigation, the Government has seized about $2.6 million from accounts controlled by the Capoccias. We believe this money is the proceeds of the LCCP fraud and the Government is attempting to forfeit this money as part of the criminal case. In addition, the bankruptcy trustee is holding $1 million that remained in LCCP bank accounts when it went out of business. This money is being held for the benefit of creditors. At the conclusion of the criminal case, all of this money may be divided up among the creditors and victims of the fraud. We cannot predict with any degree of certainty how much money each victim will receive, or when.
There are so many victims involved in this case, we are sorry that we cannot respond individually to your concerns. This website will be updated as events unfold.
Aimee B. Stearns
Victim Witness Specialist
March 18, 2004