The Field Report with Tom Field

A Tale of Two Defendants: Where's the Justice?

A Tale of Two Defendants: Where's the Justice?

Let's review a couple of recent news items.

On Dec. 16, Freddy Delavega, 36, of Cocoa, Fla., is alleged to have entered a Citizens Bank branch in Hampton Falls, NH. He told a teller he was armed, and he demanded cash. He then fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash stuffed into his pockets, and he was driven away in a three-color 1984 Ford truck.

Right, this is the same crime I poked fun at last week in my entry about dumb robberies.

Of course, Freddy Delavega isn't having a lot of fun these days. He was arraigned and offered no plea to the felony charge of armed robbery. He now resides in the Rockingham County Jail, where he was remanded after Hampton District Court Judge Mark Weaver set bail at $500,000 cash -- despite a plea from Delavega for a "reasonable bail."

Now, five day's prior to Freddy Delavega's alleged crime, a New York resident by the name of Bernard Madoff (you might have heard of him?) was arrested on securities fraud charges, accused with masterminding the mother of all Ponzi schemes, which is alleged to have cost investors $50 billion. Like, the biggest fraud in history.

Fortunes have been lost, retirements scuttled, organizations ruined, and one investor has even killed himself in the wake of Madoff's arrest. The alleged perpetrator, meanwhile, has been free on a $10 million personal recognizance bond, consigned to his Upper East Side apartment, where he's under 24-hour home confinement.

Last week, prosecutors attempted to get Madoff's bail revoked, but on Monday Magistrate-Judge Ronald Ellis denied the request. Madoff once again was remanded to his luxurious apartment.

Seems foolish to even ask, but: What's wrong with this picture?

An alleged bank robber gets away with nothing, and he's in jail awaiting trial. Not that I'd argue otherwise. I mean, a guy who thinks it's a good idea to attempt escape in a 24-year-old Ford - not exactly one you want free & hatching more brilliant schemes!

Meanwhile, Madoff defrauds investors of billions, quite literally ruins businesses and lives ... and he hasn't even lost access to his premium movie channels.

I know, I know. The apologists will all say that Madoff made his bail, and that by the letter of the law he hasn't technically violated it. Innocent until proven guilty. And maybe he's more apt to offer investigators the details of his alleged crimes if he's sitting home awaiting trial, versus sitting in lockup, using a hand mirror to communicate with the con next door.

I understand the legal reasons why Freddy Delavega is in one place and why Bernie Madoff is in another.

But y'know? That might be the law, but it sure doesn't feel like justice.

About the Author

Tom Field

Tom Field

Senior Vice President, Editorial, ISMG

Field is responsible for all of ISMG's 28 global media properties and its team of journalists. He also helped to develop and lead ISMG's award-winning summit series that has brought together security practitioners and industry influencers from around the world, as well as ISMG's series of exclusive executive roundtables.

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