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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 29, 2021

Albany Man Charged with Obstruction of Justice and Violating Release Conditions

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Michael P. Fish, age 25, of Albany, was charged today with obstruction of justice and committing a felony offense while on release, for submitting fraudulent character letters to the United States District Judge overseeing his federal criminal case.

The announcement was made by Acting U.S. Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The criminal complaint alleges that Fish, who pled guilty to computer hacking, aggravated identity theft and child pornography offenses in May 2020, submitted six fraudulent character letters to U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.  According to the complaint, Fish doctored letters, including one from a Catholic priest, and created letters purportedly from others, including his mother and grandparents.  The fraudulent letters spoke of Fish’s good character and asked Judge D’Agostino to impose a lenient sentence.

The charges in the complaint are merely accusations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The charges filed today against Fish carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

Fish will be sentenced on March 19, 2021 in connection with his May 2020 convictions.  He faces at least 2 years in prison.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Wayne A. Myers and Joshua R. Rosenthal.

Updated January 29, 2021