Justia Banking Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Immigration Law
United States v. Akinsade
Appellant Temitope Akinsade appealed a district court's denial of his petition for writ of error coram nobis, claiming that he was denied effective assistance of counsel when he plead guilty to embezzlement by a bank employee. Appellant is a Nigerian citizen who legally came to America in July 1988 at the age of seven and became a lawful permanent resident in May 2000. During his employment, Appellant cashed checks for several neighborhood acquaintances, who were not listed as payees on the checks, and deposited a portion of the proceeds from those checks into his own account. When interviewed by the FBI several months later, Appellant agreed to cooperate against the individuals for whom he cashed the checks. In early 2000, Appellant was charged with embezzlement by a bank employee. Relying on his attorney's advice that one count of embezzlement was not a deportable offense, Appellant pled guilty. The plea agreement made no mention that deportation was mandatory or even possible due to the offense. The district court sentenced Appellant to one month of imprisonment to be served in community confinement, a three-year term of supervised release, and a special assessment of $100. At sentencing, the district court recognized that Appellant's conduct was "out of character" based on his family background. The court thus gave Appellant the minimum sentence under the sentencing guidelines. Almost nine years after Appellant's conviction, immigration authorities arrested him at home and placed him in detention in Batavia, New York. After seventeen months in detention, the immigration authorities released Appellant and charged him with removability as an aggravated felon. The court held that while counsel's affirmative misrepresentations rendered his assistance constitutionally deficient under the first prong of "Strickland v. Washington," (466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984)), Appellant was not prejudiced as required under Strickland's second prong. It reasoned that its admonishment of the potential for deportation during the plea colloquy cured counsel's affirmative misrepresentations. The issue before the Fourth Circuit was whether counsel's misadvice was an error of the "most fundamental character" such that coram nobis relief is required to "achieve justice." Upon review, the Court found that counsel's affirmative misrepresentations that the crime at issue was non-deportable prejudiced Akinsade. Accordingly, the Court granted the petition for writ of error coram nobis and vacated Appellant's conviction. View "United States v. Akinsade" on Justia Law
Cortezano v. Salin Bank & Trust Co.
In 1997 Javier unlawfully entered the U.S.; he married in 2001. In 2007 the bank hired wife. Husband, attempting to start a business, could not open a bank account without a social security number. He obtained an individual tax identification number. Wife named him a joint owner on her account and helped use his ITIN to open accounts of his own. The business failed. Husband returned to Mexico to deal with his citizenship. Wife revealed the situation to her supervisor, requesting time off to help husband obtain citizenship. The supervisor agreed and called the bank security officer, who was concerned that the accounts might implicate bank fraud laws. During a meeting, the security officer became angry and berated wife. Wife refused to attend another meeting without her attorney The bank terminated her employment and reported her activity to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and a consortium of area banks. Wife sued, claiming blacklisting, defamation, emotional distress, and employment discrimination, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. The district court granted the bank summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that any discrimination was not based on race or national origin, but on an unprotected classification, husband’s status as an alien lacking permission to be in the country. View "Cortezano v. Salin Bank & Trust Co." on Justia Law