U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has granted Leyda Ada’s request for release pending the outcome of her appeal from her conviction of perjury and sentence.
At a hearing on Friday, Manglona found that Ada is not likely to flee or pose a danger to the safety of any person in the community if released.
Manglona also found that Ada’s purpose for the appeal is not for improper delay and that the appeal raises a substantial question of law.
The judge, however, reminded the defendant that she was subject to abide by the same terms and conditions of her release to ensure that she does surrender herself to the U.S. Marshal, when required to do so.
Defense counsel Mark Hanson argued Ada’s motion. Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe argued the U.S. government’s opposition to the motion.
On June 26, 2015, a federal jury reached a verdict, acquitting Ada of the charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, but finding her guilty as to the crime of perjury.
Last April 24, Manglona sentenced Ada to two years and three months imprisonment. Ada was allowed her continued release pending the designation of her federal prison facility.
Ada then filed a notice of appeal of her conviction and sentence. She later filed a motion for release pending the outcome of her appeal.
In Ada’s motion for release, Hanson said his client is not a flight risk, is not a danger to the community, and her appeal and this motion are not for purposes of delay.
Hanson also asserted that Ada has and will present issues to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that are “substantial” in nature—fairly debatable—and that would require reversal or re-sentencing if she prevails on either of the issues presented.
In the U.S. government’s opposition, Backe argued that the issues regarding the sufficiency of the evidence and the ambiguity of the question have already been thoroughly briefed and argued—and more importantly, rejected by the court.
Backe agreed, however, that Ada does not present a flight risk or a danger to the community.
The jurors found Ada guilty of perjury when she signed “no” to the question in the “CJA form” if she has any cash on hand or money in savings or checking accounts.
In order to determine whether Ada could afford her own lawyer when she was arrested, she was required by the court to truthfully complete a financial affidavit.
In the paragraph entitled “Employment,” Ada also checked the “no” box indicating that she was not employed.
According to the indictment, Ada’s statements were false because she knew that she had $4,000 in cash at the time in her personal clothing drawer at her house and had access to and was an authorized user of at least two bank accounts.
Ada used to be a sales representative for Midwest Medical Supply Co. Inc., a Missouri-based company that had supplied dialysis consumables and equipment to the Commonwealth Health Center.
Leyda Ada’s husband, Melvin Ada, is a former employee of the Commonwealth Health Center. He pleaded guilty to 56 charges for misappropriating and diverting CNMI Treasury checks made payable to Midwest Medical Supply totaling over $1.7 million. Last December, he was slapped with a sentence of 12.7 years imprisonment.