The United States District Court, in conjunction with the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, has presented Litigation partner Z. Scott and associates Daniel Meyers and Emily Newhouse Dillingham with an Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service to recognize their work on behalf of Elise Dixon-Roper in USA v. Rashid et al. This award honors area attorneys for their contributions toward helping people most in need of assistance before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Kaye Scholer represented Illinois attorney Elise Dixon-Roper in a federal criminal case from the pre-indictment stage to sentencing. Ms. Dixon-Roper was indicted for mortgage fraud along with two additional defendants. She pled guilty to the crime with the expectation that issues related to sentencing would be provided to the court by the government and defense in a sentencing hearing and in related motion practice before Judge Robert Gettleman of the Northern District of Illinois.
During the sentencing hearing, the government attempted to base the length of Ms. Dixon-Roper’s sentence on the loss in value of the properties associated with her fraudulent acts. Ms. Dixon-Roper’s legal team presented evidence that the government was improperly attempting to charge Ms. Dixon-Roper with a collapse in property values even though certain financial institutions did not lose any money on transactions related to the properties at issue. In doing so, the Kaye Scholer team demonstrated that the government had not thoroughly investigated the complex mortgage investment process or the mortgage crisis and the unreliability of this information for purposes of criminal sentencing—legal theories the court had not previously considered.
The award will be presented at the Seventeenth Annual Excellence in Pro Bono and Public Interest Service Award Ceremony on Wednesday, May 25.
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