Appeals court affirms probation sentence of ex-notary public


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the two-year probation sentence imposed on a former notary public who pleaded guilty to lying in a U.S. passport application for another person.

The Ninth Circuit judges ruled on Tuesday that U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona did not err in finding that Liang Li did not accept responsibility for this offense.

Li had been sentenced to two years’ probation with six months in home detention and a fine of $4,000 following his guilty-plea conviction for lying in a passport application.

Li, through counsel, contends that Manglona improperly denied him a two-level reduction for acceptance of responsibility.

But Ninth Circuit judges William Canby, A. Wallace Tashima, and Morgan Christen disagreed, saying the record shows that Li failed to demonstrate contrition and sought to minimize his conduct, which is inconsistent with accepting responsibility.

The appellate judges said they unanimously conclude that this case is suitable for decision without oral argument.

Li, a U.S. citizen, works at U-Save Car Rental, a local business on Saipan that deals in automobiles.

The sentencing was held in September 2018.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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