February 8, 1995
Today I must ask a favor. I hope you will help me as soon as possible.
As you all know, Keith Maydak is serving an extremely long sentence for allegations that are not possible. One of the projects that the Foundation has taken is supporting Mr. Maydak in his efforts to vindicate himself by assisting in the investigation of the absurd allegations.
However, the main reason Mr. Maydak's sentence was so long was because of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for the crime of, ``financial transaction over $10,000 with criminally derived funds.'' Congress intended this law to be used against criminals who launder money professionally -- a serious offense. However, prosecutors have found that since the wording is so broad, they simply use this law to increase almost everyone's sentence.
This is especially ludicrous in Keith's case because, even if we accept the Secret Service's figure that 54% of the calls were fraudulent, Keith received less than 54% of the funds due him because AT&T stopped paying him. Thus, he cannot, as a matter of law, have possessed any criminally derived funds and should not have been convicted of money laundering.
We at the Foundation are working with Mr. Maydak to try to get his money laundering convictions overturned. In the meantime, it has come to our attention that the United States Sentencing Commission has recognized the absurdity of the current use of this `crime' to raise sentences.
They have passed an amendment to lower the guideline range for money laundering so that it cannot exceed the range of the offense from which the funds were derived. In Mr. Maydak's case, this would be fraud. If these new guidelines applied to Mr. Maydak, he and Shawn Kovack, his co-defendant, could possibly secure immediate release the date these guidelines go into effect, November 1, 1995. He could be home in time for Christmas.
This would be very good news, but nothing assures us that this amendment will take effect retroactively, that is, act upon convictions that predate it. In fact, most similar amendments do not. The United States Sentencing Commission has asked for public comment upon this amendment, and we ask you to write them asking that the amendment apply retroactively.
We simply find it unconscionable that two people convicted of the same offense and with other conditions the same might receive sentences so widely disparate that the one convicted last would be released years before the first. I have attached some sample letters for your review. I am asking you to send a letter to the Commission urging them to demand that this amendment be retroactive.
If you have any questions or need help, please contact me as soon as possible. The Commission will rule or make its suggestions to Congress shortly, so you must send the letter today.
Thank you in advance,
The Keith Maydak Foundation