Bill Wichert, 22 December 2020
A New Jersey federal judge on Tuesday dashed a securities trader’s hopes of receiving home confinement, sentencing him to 18 months behind bars based on his plea agreement with the government over charges he orchestrated a market manipulation scheme that reaped more than $17 million in illicit profits.
In making the request for home confinement, Joseph Taub told U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez during a Zoom hearing that “I’ve never been away from my kids more than one day at the most,” and that his wife’s father died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve gone through a hard year as it is. We lost somebody who was a staple in our family,” said Taub, while sitting beside his wife. “It’s just been a surreal year, so we’re very concerned about me going away now for a year and a half.”
But Judge Vazquez said that “once I accept the plea, I have to sentence you in accordance with the plea agreement.” If he granted home confinement, “the government would have the right to withdraw the plea and we’d be back at square one,” the judge said.
“You never know. Dan seems like a real stand-up guy,” Taub replied, referring to Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel V. Shapiro, who is representing the government.