Civil rights attorney’s sentencing is delayed

Times Staff Writer

The sentencing of Venice Beach civil rights attorney Stephen Yagman on tax evasion, bankruptcy fraud and money laundering convictions was postponed until Monday after a hearing Friday in federal court in Los Angeles.

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson put off the sentencing after hours of argument by Yagman’s lawyers, who contested a federal probation report that recommended he spend at least 6 1/2 years in prison.

The bulk of the argument centered on federal sentencing guidelines and other factors, such as the nature of the crimes he committed, that will help the judge determine how long Yagman should serve.

Attorney Barry Tarlow also cited Yagman’s chronic back problems and heart disease as issues the judge should consider before imposing the sentence.


Shortly before 5 p.m., Wilson said he was inclined to postpone the proceedings to allow Yagman ample time to testify on his own behalf and for federal prosecutors to have their input before the sentencing.

“What would be the harm if we came back Monday?” Wilson said. “Why should we rush it?”

The hearing is set to resume at 1:30 p.m.

Yagman, who brought hundreds of cases against the Los Angeles Police Department and other law enforcement agencies, was convicted in June. He remains free on $100,000 bond.