Joe MacLean, aka Hovsep Mikaelian, is now a free man. Between his trips to Vegas and Armenia, however, he works selling used cars, which is probably a front for his parole and court obligations to get a paycheck. I doubt he’s allowed to work in bars, casinos, entertainment, scams, etc., unless it’s secret. And to spite the court, I read that he is only making $50 monthly payments towards his fine. $50 is the minimum, according to an article about Joe’s release. His slimy lawyer claims that Joe has no income. On the eve of his arrest, he transferred “six figures” to an overseas bank, according to the Justice Dept.
Joe served hard time for this RICO stuff though, and was only released a few years ago. Shit man, he hated jail, look at the quotes below to see how much he hated it. He was scrambling to win that appeal, but in cry-baby ways. If Joe was indeed involved in Wonderland, as the witness stated to the Grand Jury, then he served the most time of them all. Like 14 years. Diles and Nash served maybe 3 to 5 years each at best for their other crimes and L.A. county jail time shenanigans.
I guess that “Joe MacLean” had been in jail about 3-4 years by this point after his 1995 arrest for racketeering and tax fraud, among other charges …. and wow, this guy is a real a piece of work, his own sister-in-law turned on him:
In August 1996, Mikaelian’s sister-in-law, a designated paralegal for Mikaelian, called Stephen Larson, the Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) in Mikaelian’s case, and made an appointment to meet with him. AUSA Larson and the paralegal met the next day. AUSA Larson immediately called defense counsel after the meeting, and followed up with a letter. The letter stated that the paralegal told AUSA Larson that she had just met with Mikaelian in jail, and that Mikaelian wanted her to claim (1) she was having an affair with AUSA Larson, (2) Mikaelian’s counsel was a “double agent” for the government, (3) Mikaelian had been under the influence of drugs when he signed the plea agreement, (4) Mikaelian had never read the plea agreement, and (5) Mikaelian’s counsel had never explained the agreement to him. The paralegal wanted to be relieved of her position.
Later on, this happens:
Mikaelian has filed to allege that the heroin he distributed was of such low purity that it took his case outside the “heartland” of the applicable Guideline. Although he characterizes four percent heroin as “very impure” or “junk” heroin, he presented no evidence that heroin of four percent purity is unusually impure, nor did he even indicate that the expert witness he requested would so testify.
Mikaelian’s 4% grade heroin was just above the lowest street level purity: 2%. The court ruled that street level purity is generally 2 to 10%.
And the best part:
The district court declined to exercise its discretion to depart downward based on Mikaelian’s mental condition, including his severe headaches. Such a discretionary refusal to depart is not reviewable on appeal.
And he has only paid a few hundred dollars, claiming he has no income or assets:
Mikaelian contends it was an abuse of discretion to order him to pay restitution, jointly and severally with his codefendants, in the amount of $2,435,280.
US v. Mikaelian, 1999. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.