A bit more on Nathan Wyatt’s sentencing and what happens next

Because I had no idea how some things work when a convicted defendant is a foreign national who is supposed to pay restitution, and because  I found some elements of Nathan Wyatt’s sentence confusing, I followed up with the U.S. Department of Justice on  his sentence (see my previous post about his guilty plea and sentence).

You can read the court’s judgment and supervised release conditions here. Wyatt was sentenced to 60 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of almost $1.5 million to victims of TDO.

The following are the answers provided to me by an  Assistant United States Attorney to questions I had put to them about the supervised release and other conditions:

Q: When he is released from jail, can he just go back to the U.K. on his own (voluntarily) or does he have to be deported? What happens to the supervised release?

A:  When he’s released from custody, he can agree to an order of removal and waive formal deportation proceedings. However, that is a separate administrative proceeding that the Department of Justice does not play a role in. Because he has an outstanding restitution obligation, the Court is unlikely to terminate his term of supervision early.

Q: If he hasn’t paid the restitution (and it seems unlikely he will or can), what happens if he returns to the U.K.? Would the victims ever see the money if he never returns to the U.S.?

A: His victims will be paid restitution as long as Mr. Wyatt continues to comply with the terms of supervision.

Q: His attorney had argued (pre-sentence) that he would likely have to serve 85% of any sentence because there would be no halfway house or incentive programs available to him as a UK national. How much credit does he get for time in custody, how much time does he have left to serve, and is he eligible for any kind of good behavior early release down the road?

A: He will have to serve 85% of time, and he is given credit for any time he has spent in federal custody.

The AUSA did not indicate how much credit he is getting for time already in custody, but he was extradited here in December, 2019, so perhaps nine months or so?  At 85%, he would have to serve another 42 months to serve, but then it sounds like he will have three more years of supervised release. With his family back in the U.K., it may be a long time before he can go home again.

This post was edited post-publication to include calculations.

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