Fugitive’s Appeal Rights Don’t Follow Him Down Under

Posted On Tuesday, May 7, 2013

If you’re planning on fleeing the country, don’t plan on prosecuting your criminal appeal at the same time.

That was the message from the Seventh Circuit on Tuesday, as the court tossed the appeal of Jeremiah Jacob, a St. Louis-area man who pleaded guilty last year to selling an unregistered security

After he pleaded guilty, Jacob was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay more than $200,000 in restitution.  He appealed the sentence and got permission from the district court to travel to Australia for business before his planned surrender in March.

The only problem?  Jacob never came back.

In a three-page per curiam opinion, the Seventh Circuit dismissed Jacob’s appeal.  Though noting that dismissal of a fugitive’s appeal is discretionary, the court concluded that the sanction was warranted given that “Jacob remains at large and has expressed no interest in returning to serve his prison sentence.”

If he does decide to come back, Jacob faces additional charges of failure to surrender and contempt of court.

No word yet on whether he plans to pin his crime on a one-armed man.