U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge David O. Carter yesterday issued an order placing former Coastal Resources Management official Benny K. Pangelinan in the custody of the U.S. Attorney General for hospitalization.
Carter had found Pangelinan in violation of two conditions of his probation, but at the same time the judge determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant is presently suffering from a mental disease or defect.
Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe and defense counsel Steven Pixley agreed that neither an examination and report nor a hearing is needed regarding Pangelinan’s mental state.
Carter said that Pangelinan is provisionally sentenced to commitment for a period of two years.
Carter said when and if the director of the facility in which Pangelinan is hospitalized determines that the defendant has recovered from his mental disease or defect and is no longer in need of custody for treatment, the director shall promptly file a certificate to that effect with the clerk of court.
Carter conducted a hearing on Wednesday and Thursday regarding the U.S. Probation’s request to revoke Pangelinan’s probation for violating his supervised release.
In January 2007, a federal jury had found Pangelinan guilty of five wire fraud charges for defrauding potential investors and his involvement in Internet scams. He was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $129,250 in restitution to five victims.
After serving his jail term, Pangelinan was released from jail and placed on three years of supervised release.
In September 2011, the U.S. Probation filed a petition to revoke the defendant’s probation for violating the conditions. This after U.S. Probation found, among other things, that Pangelinan borrowed a total of $21,450 from a couple and received over $11,000 from a family member, with promises to both that he will double their money.