Rejecting a bail amount acceptable to prosecutors and the financial adviser accused of bilking an elderly woman out of $1 million, a Nassau judge ordered the suspected swindler jailed last week on more than seven times that amount.
With a bail bondwoman in the courtroom Friday ready to sign off on his release, suspected swindler John Mondello instead went off to jail, his family unable to post the $750,000 set by Judge Donald H. Birnbaum. Prosecutors asked for bail of $100,000.
"I'm very concerned about the exploitation of [the] . . . elderly," Birnbaum told Mondello, who pleaded not guilty to first-degree grand larceny and other charges in the alleged fleecing of the 84-year-old from Queens.
The judge rebuffed an impassioned argument by Mondello's defense attorney, David Scott Smith of Uniondale, that his 61-year-old client showed he's not a flight risk by staying in town during the police investigation and then voluntarily surrendering to detectives.
Said the judge: "At his age, I don't know if any amount of bail would be sufficient," especially given that the grand larceny charge alone could carry mandatory jail time.
Full Article and Source:
Judge Drives Up Bail of Suspected Swindler of Woman, 84