Pil sentencing hearing delayed for 2nd time

Pil's attorneys last week filed an application to continue the sentencing date, which had originally been scheduled for May 4 before being moved to yesterday.

Federal Judge Martin Jenkins, who will deliver Pil's sentence, has granted the continuance.

"It's nothing unusual at all," said Randy Sue Pollock, co-counsel for Pil. "When the summer comes, there are scheduling problems, vacations, stuff like that."

Pil, a Chassidic rabbi who grew up in the Soviet Union, became something of a local celebrity in the 1990s for his radio ads asking people to donate their used cars to the JEC. Through auctions, the JEC turned those cars into millions of dollars per year.

Pil landed in hot water for making hundreds of bank deposits just under a $10,000 level that triggers federal reporting laws.

Pil and his lawyers contend the deposits were under the $10,000 level not for nefarious purposes, but only to save time at the bank and reduce paperwork.

A plea agreement made by Pil last year includes the possibility of prison time.

A sentence of 18 to 24 months has been recommended to the judge, but only if Pil accepts responsibility for his deeds.

Otherwise, the plea agreement calls for a sentence of 27 to 33 months, according to Ross Nadel, the assistant U.S. attorney handling Pil's case.

Regardless of the plea agreement, Jenkins can give Pil a shorter or longer sentence than recommended — up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.