PJ's Café Case | Attorneys for Freedom Law Firm

PJ’s Café Case

PJ’s Café owner placed on seven years’ probation

Attorney Andrew Marcantel of The Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm represented the owner of PJ’s Café who was charged with fraudulent schemes and artifices, failure to file transaction privilege tax returns, and filing a false return.

In an interview with the probation officer, Norton said that prior to his death in 2002, her husband had always paid the taxes, and then she took over. She “offered no explanation as to why she stopped,” the report said.

Norton didn’t excuse her actions and told the officer she believes her actions brought shame to her family and business.

“I was wrong. I am extremely remorseful and I want to pay restitution,” Norton told the officer. “The court is fair and I will never ever put myself or my family in this place again.”

The probation officer wrote in his report he had a “difficult time thinking of her in the caliber of Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, or Lori Laughlin.”

Although Norton told the probation officer she was in “general good health,” her attorney, Andrew Marcantel of Chandler, cited her age and poor health as two of the reasons she wasn’t facing prison time under the terms of her plea agreement.

In a sentencing memorandum sent to the judge, Marcantel cited two past heart attacks, serious back issues, gastroparesis, coronary artery disease, past bouts with cancer, kidney issues, and macular degeneration as reasons why she shouldn’t be placed in prison. He also said sending Norton to prison would make her “unconscionably susceptible to contracting COVID-19.”

Marcantel described Norton as a “pillar” of the community who has been involved with numerous charities and community endeavors since she bought the café in 1979. She’s employed dozens of people and helped raise her grandchildren, he said. He submitted nearly two dozen letters written on her behalf. Among those who wrote letters were former and current Clifton Town Managers Luis Montoya and Mark Foote, town council member and Clifton Hotel owner Karen Frye, Greenlee County Tourism Council member Akos Kovach and owner of the Blue Door Sanctuary, Kimmy Henderson.

The defense attorney asked the judge to impose a four-year probation sentence on the great-grandmother, saying she was ready to make a $25,000 down payment on the $181,992 restitution owed and a $20,000 payment every six months thereafter. She makes no excuses for her actions and just wants to make things right, Marcantel said. There’s even a chance Norton could pay all of the restitution owed in less than four years, he said.

The judge said he thought the seven years’ probation was warranted.

Under the terms of Norton’s plea agreement, all of the other counts pending against her were dismissed.

Sasha B.
Sasha B.
16:54 29 Sep 22
I hired Attorneys For Freedom in 2020 for a very serious matter involving my significant other. I... spent a couple of hours calling around looking for attorneys and the ONLY attorney willing to talk to me on behalf of my significant other was Andy Marcantel. It was end of day and he took the time, to speak to me and to myself, my significant other and his family, the next day as well.I knew immediately, I wanted to hire Andy for this serious matter. My significant other was facing serious time and we were both terrified. I trusted Andy and his team to get the absolute, best, possible outcome. From the very beginning, Andy was nothing short of truthful, communicative, professional, informative, kind and hilarious.I would email Andy late at night with concerns or questions and he would communicate back immediately just to let me know he was scheduling us a meeting the next day to go over everything. For almost 2 years, Andy and his team worked diligently on this case and about 3 weeks ago, it went to court for the last time and my significant other received the BEST outcome possible. Considering what he was facing, I will never be able to thank Andy properly for his work but what I can do, is let EVERYONE know, if you’re in need of a law firm, I HIGHLY recommend Attorneys For Freedom. You will not be disappointed.There is so much integrity, kindness and care in that office.Attorneys For Freedom holds true to their mission statement and their values.Andy, I cannot thank you enough for everything and the time and effort you took to ensure we understood every single part of the case and the justice system. I’m eternally grateful to you.read more
chipchurch1
chipchurch1
19:41 28 Sep 22
Very efficientVery professional
Tim T.
Tim T.
18:56 27 Sep 22
I had my doubts at the beginning, Andy, is one of the best guys I have known. He answers every... question I ask, he is there from start to finish. He has a client now for the rest of my life, if anything were to happen. I cannot be more happier with the way these guys run their businessread more
Patricia S.
Patricia S.
23:12 12 Sep 22
Thank you so much Andy.
Cody G
Cody G
02:05 06 Sep 22
I would absolutely recommend The Attorneys For Freedom! Marc & Andrew worked very hard and they... never quit. Their staff is always friendly and on top of everything. I definitely slept better at night knowing they were on my side.read more
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