dale bloom on Judge Zuniga Throws the Book A… Susan Joy Rouse on Drunk Driving Too?? Susan Joy Rouse on CARL MILLER- GUILTY OF 8 FELON… equitatus on Final Argument in Carl Miller… equitatus on Final Argument in Carl Miller…
After a 4 hour emotional hearing Judge Barbara Zuniga sentenced Carl Miller to a total of 12 years and 8 months in State Prison. Miller may be eligible for parole in as little as 6 years if he stays out of trouble in prison. Miller was also ordered to payback the victims of his crimes individual amounts totaling $1,880,000.00. with 10% interest, per annum ! The court ordered that as Mr. Miller works in Prison and earns money that it will go the victims under the restitution order. According to Deputy DA Ken McCormick Miller will be transferred immediately to San Quentin Prison for processing and evaluation and then placed in a State Prison anywhere with in the state where they have room. Under the sentencing terms he will not be eligible to be transferred to county jail under the states policy of sending less violent offenders back to county jail to serve out their sentences. Miller was convicted of 8 Felony Counts by a Contra Costa Jury in October 2012, he has been in jail since his conviction. 8 of Mr. Miller victims many of the elderly retirees were allowed to address the court explaining how Mr. Miller crimes had devastated them and their families. Robert Feole and his wife addressed the court separately. Mr. Miller sat smirking dressed in his “baby poop” colored jail pull over. His only possessions was a ratty jail sweat shirt and a very thick dog-eared “fantasy novel” Victim #1 who was a witness in the criminal trial and was responsible for discovering Millers criminal activity. Dressed in a lime colored sports shirt, explained how came out of retirement in October of 2009 to take over the failing “Geneva Fund” out of necessity to protect his remaining investment. He told of having worked hard and saving his money for retirement since he was an 11 year old boy mowing lawns and delivering newspapers. He recounted a conversation with Mr. Miller shortly after he confronted him with his crimes. He asked him why he did it? Carl Miller thought for a moment and replied, “Because it was fun”. Victims # 1’s wife who had quit her job in order to retire was forced to go back to work at a lower paying job instead of spending her retirement years taking care of her two girls. She suffered physical and emotional ill-health effects as a result of the financial loss and having to return to work. Victim # 2 addressed the court on behalf of her husband noted Children’s Hospital surgeon. She was dressed in a bright fuchsia colored sweater told how Carl Miller stole $155,000 directly from she and her husband who also lost additional sums in Mr. Millers Geneva Fund from which Mr. Miller stole $740,000.00 to remodel his Chateau like mansion on the country club side of Orinda. He along with two other bay area doctors were swindled in a fake loan transaction in Ventura County. She described how they had carefully planned for their retirement selling their San Francisco home and moving to the Sierra foothills in a more modest home, with the hope of building a bigger retirement home. Do the loss of more than 85% of their retirement funds they are unable to build that home, travel or to help their daughter through college. She said that she was devastated by the loss of trust and as a Girl Scout could not understand how Mr. Miller who was convicted of stealing from his son’s Boy Scout Troop could do such a thing. Victim # 3 testified at trial that Mr.Miller sold him a fake loan package for $100,000.00 was shocked and saddened as he had rented office space in Mr. Miller former office building at 1 Northwood Drive in Orinda for many years, and had considered him a friend. He was dressed in kahaki dockers and thin lined green cotton button down shirt told the court that his loss was some complete that while Mr. Miller was driving a brand new SUV to court during the trial he had arrived today on a motor scooter. He said due to his experience his children are afraid to invest. He said as a kid he use to wake up at the crack of dawn ready to go to work. His first job was washing cars. Now he wakes up in the middle of the night haunted by what Mr. Miller did to him and others. He moved out of his office at 1 Northwood as the memories bothered him so much he couldn’t work there. He would like to move out of the area but can’t afford to. He said early on he felt compassion for Mr. Miller and offered him the name of his therapist in order to help him. He began to understand that Mr. Miller cared about no one but himself. Mr. Millers “story” in the Orinda community is that Victim # 1 stole his business. When Victim # 4 heard this he began to understand that Mr. Miller really believes that he is the “victim” and that Mr. Weiss and others are the “perpetrators”. He has had a civil judgement against Mr. Miller who has done nothing to pay him over the last 4 years. Miller coached his son who was friends with Mr. Miller son’s. All of this was violated by Mr. Miller. He said all he wanted was a sign that Mr. Miller was remorseful. He now feels that as far as Mr. Miller is concerned, “we are not in the equation, we will never count”. He also fears Mr. Miller personally seek retribution. He told of Mr. Miller blocking his driveway with his car and rolling down the window and giving him the “finger”. (This is not the only “finger” story to be heard in court today, continue reading) He feels that Carl Miller is “wicked smart” and that once out of prison will without any license or regulation begin to pray on people. Victim #4 concluded by urging the Judge to, “keep society safe, keep Mr. Miller locked away”. Victim # 5 is a 59 years old dressed in a pullover sweater vest over a long sleeve dress shirt, told the Court that, ” Mr. Miller turned my life upside down”. His wife who is 10 years younger than him became surprising pregnant at a late age in 2006. They decided that he would retire early and become a “stay at home dad”. This dream was shattered by Mr. Miller. They were looking for conservative investment that would give them a stream of income. They met and invested with Mr. Miller. It was prophetic that Mr. Miller told them, “I will treat your money like my money”. They transferred all their saving to Mr. Miller. He is now working, he is not a stay at home dad. He pointed out to the court that this was no accident, not a one time thing for Mr. Miller, “he cheats people” he continued, “each and every time he had to decide to to cheat people” Victim # 5 concluded, urging the judge to impose the maximum sentence, ” It not just the law he broke, its people’s lives he broke”. Victim # 6 a very attractive 51 year old mother, met Carl Miller when their children were in the same pre-school. Mrs. Wilson invested her children’s college money and now sees no chance of recovery of those funds. ” I didn’t lose it as a result of an earthquake a flood or an act of God, he (Carl Miller) intended to do this for his own gain”. She is also worried that he is capable of seeking revenge. ” Carl Miller took the maximum from us, you should give him the maximum”. Victim # 7 dressed neatly in grey slacks a blue button down shirt and navy blue blazer told the court that as a young man growing up in Alameda he always respected the doctors in the community for the kind and gentle service the gave back to the community. “As a young man I wanted to contribute to society just like those doctors did”. He had a wonderful career working at large medical centers in San Francisco. Now at age 69 he is facing the prospect of having to go back to work. This is difficult because he doesn’t have the energy he use to have. He has had medical problems. But he has two “wonderful daughters” one who is in medical school and the other about to begin. “I wanted to help them through school, instead they are going to come out of medical school with crushing debt”. “But I can’t” “Now I feel impotent, I can’t help them.” ” I have to watch every penny I spend. I can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods, I shop at the Grocery Outlet. I even skimp on the toothpaste I buy. I live on Social Security in shabby rental house in Concord” He thought his investments were safe with Carl Miller because he had 7 children, a wife, lived in Orinda and was the son of prominent lawyer, ” he isn’t going anywhere with someone elses money”. But he was going places with other people’s money, chartering a Lear Jet taking his family on vacation to Canada. “In his mind, other people’s money was is money”. ” His (Carl Miller) facility and craft are not diminished in any way”. “He is a threat, he will continue to do this unless this court nips it in the bud”. Victim # 8, worked for Carl Miller for 10 years. She saw his spending habits. At Christmas time the office would be full of presents and toys for his family, “it looked like Toys R Us”. She watched him spend his siblings money, “It was horrible”. He has now caused his father-in-law to have to sell his home and go back to work part-time to support his daughter, and his grandchildren” It is interesting to note that Carl Millers story in the community was that there was a conspiracy among the vicitms to take over Geneva Real Estate Investment from him, frame him and cooked up the 8 felonies (which he was convicted of). Deputy District Attorney Ken McCormick addressed the court next, pointing out that Carl Miller has shown no remorse.”His only remorse is that he got caught”. He came from a privileged background, where he never suffered from any need. He thought he had to somehow had to steal to support his lavish lifestyle. He pointed out that Miller blamed his demise on the downturn in the economy at the same time other people were downsizing he was doing a $740,000.00 remodel to his $3,400,000.00 house. His blaming this on the real estate bubble is “Hooey“, “Hooey” the Judge asked, “Yes” McCormick replied, “that’s a legal term”. McCormick pointed out that before the real estate collapse in 2005-2006 he stole over a $1,000,000.00 in those two years. “He treated the fund, like his own private ATM machine”. According to the Probation Report he wants to go back to the same business he was doing. What has he done over the last four-year from the date he was discovered? “He done nothing to help any of the victims, instead he’s gotten two of his kids into college”. At this point Judge Zuniga hears Mr. Miller snicker, interrupting Mr. McCormick she said, “Mr. Miller I have very good hearing, stop smirking”. Mr. McCormick continues explaining that Carl Miller is motivated by selfishness and greed and should be sentenced to 12 years and 8 month, the maximum, noting that he will in all reality only do half that time. ” Send a message to white-collar criminals in Contra Costa County”. Public Defender Jeffery Landau spoke next, trying to look a little older and mature he had sprouted a short cropped beard. Although the beard is neat it may not serve him well with jurys. (http://www.nbcnews.com/health/sorry-guys-we-judge-you-your-facial-hair-764191) Although he is much quicker on his feet than the DA his voice sometimes lacks conviction. He is very intelligent and well spoken but as revealed in his later discourse with the Judge he may not see the forest through the trees. Mr. Landau acknowledges the real pain suffered by the investors. Carl Millers decision to go to trail weighed heavy on his mind. He wante to take responsibility and pay restitution. Carl Miller made efforts to do so and is prepared to do so. Carl Miller should not be punished for exercising his right to go to trial. The court should apply an neutral application of the law to Carl Miller in sentencing: 1. Mr. Miller is 49 years old and had no criminal record except the DUI (Driving Under the Influence) after being charged with these offenses. 2. Mr. Miller did use a weapon or physical harm, although he acknowledges there has been emotional harm. 3. Mr. Miller is not likely to re-offend. No criminal history before the age of 47. 4. Mr. Miller produced letters from individuals supporting his good character, including Drew Anderson who was an investor with Carl Miller. Judge Zuniga interupts Mr. Landau and points out the letter was vague as to when Mr. Anderson was an investor was it before these events? Mr. Landau said Carl Miller has known Mr. Anderson for years. The Judge comments that none of the authors of the letters were investors at the time of the of the theft. “You missed the point, not one was an investor, I wonder how supportive they would be if the were here in the audience”. 5. Mr. Miller has strong family ties. He wants to make restitution. He has been searching for a job, he has even applied at Starbucks, but he was denied, due to the publicity around this case. Hopefully the public nature of this case will die down. (NOT) 6. Mr. Miller would like to make restitution but the bank has foreclosed on the house. He has no other property. 7. Mr. Miller is driving a new car but it is a rental since his car was stolen. 8. “Middle Finger” Mr. Landau said, ” I was there it didn’t happen, Judge Austin was there and he didn’t see it”. Judge Zuniga said, ” It was made behind his back, Judge Austin would not have seen it” 9. Mr. Landau claims these were isolated instances and period of time didn’t continue ” Judge Zuniga comments, “That’s because he was caught”. 10. Mr. Landau pointed out that Carl Miller had cooperated in transferring the building at 1 Northwood Dr. by signing over his interest. ( Earlier Mr. Feole presented the court with a quitclaim deed and asked the court to have Mr. Miller sign it). Carl Miller is prepared to sign the quitclaim today. (we’ll see, don’t hold your breath). 11. Mr. Landau indicates Mr. Miller has abided by all court orders and has had no violations while in custody. A suspended sentence would not endanger the public and is the most appropriate sentence with probation. Judge Zuniga asks how many job applications Mr. Miller made in the last 4 years. Mr. Landau explains that he made on “universal” application online. The Judge express shock, ” you mean he didn’t open the newspaper and circle ads and walk around town asking for work? He just went on the internet and made a “universal application” ?” She stares at Mr. Landau. He said nothing. Carl Miller speaks in public for almost the first time in 4 years. to be continued…………will have to wait to the weekend legit business calling……………..
Sentencing November 15, 3013 8:30 a.m. Department 2 Contra Costa Superior Court Martinez, CA
Read The Sentencing Brief
Read Contra Costa Times Article on Trial here:
Carl Miller was convicted by a Contra Costa Jury of eight felony counts with four enhancements.
The public defender present a letter from Carl’s wife’s parents pledging to put up a medical building they owned in Oakland as collateral for his release pending sentencing. The Judge, Barbara Zuniaga refused, saying,
” Mr. Miller has victimized many people, he is a predator and danger to society.” “It doesn’t matter how much money he has, he belongs in jail.”
He is to be interview by the Probation Department and the judge warned him,
“You are to make full financial disclosure.”
Mr. Miller’s public defender sought to put off his sentencing until mid December but the Judge disagreed setting a sentencing hearing for November 15, 2013 at 9 a.m. back in Department 2.
At that hearing victims of Mr. Miller’s crimes will be allowed to tell the judge how the theft of their money has impacted their lives. The hearing will be open to the public.
According to Deputy District Attorney Ken McKormick, Miller turned down a previously recommended 5 to 6 year plea deal at the time of his preliminary hearing. He now faces a much larger sentence, 12 years in state prison.
See Contra Costa Times News Article:
The prosection finished the first of his two concluding arguments yesterday afternoon. Deputy DA Ken McKormick http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=3178 presented a pinpoint Power Point which listed the elements of each of the 8 felony charges. It included highlited bank records, deeds, checks tying Miller to each of the fraudulent transactions.
The Public Defender Jeffery Landau http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=3178 persented his defense to counts 7 and 8 before the court broke of the day.
Arguments are set to conclude Thursday morning . The jury will then be instructed by Judge Barbara Zuniga http://www.cccba.org/attorney/judicial-profiles/zuniga-barbara.php
So far there are only slight hints of what Carl Millers defense will be to serious felony charges of theft, embezzlement, and forgery. Mostly likely it will be “The prosecution has not met its burden of proof” , “It is someone else’s fault” “It was a conspiracy to take over my business”
Both the Prosecution and the Defense have rested their cases.
Carl Miller refused to testify in his own defense. He called only one witness, the District Attorney’s Investigator who was only asked questions for less than fifteen minutes.
Closing Arguments will be heard in Department 2, Contra Costa County Superior Court, 1020 Ward Street, Martinez at 1:30p.m. Security screening take 5-10 minutes and parking is sometimes hard to find, so get there early.
Come See Carl Miller wear headphones in Court !
Bob Feole testified Monday afternoon. There is no testimony scheduled for Tuesday as the Judge was ill. Testimony will begin at 1:30 both Wednesday and Thursday in Department 2, on the 3rd floor of the A.F. Bray Courthouse, 20 Ward St. Martinez CA. If you want to be sure on any day call the clerk around 9am at (925) 957-5702
Motions, Jury Selection will start today Monday September 16, 2013 in the case of
Tuesday or Wednesday September should be opening arguments and the first witnesses.
Trial is being held in Department 2 of the Superior Court, Judge Barbara Zuniga at: 1020 Ward St. Martinez CA. The building is also known as the AF Bray Courthouse.