The executive director of the Young Dillingers, a self-styled crime-fighting organization, was sentenced in D.C. Superior Court yesterday to 14 to 42 months in prison for bilking an elderly woman out of $150,000 and for making threats against another member of the Dillingers group.
Robert Merritt, 42, told Judge Reggie Walton that he was sorry for becoming "involved on the other side of the fence," but pleaded with Walton to take into consideration his efforts to help law enforcement agencies.
With his lawyer Steven Kiersh at his side, Merritt told the judge he had aided the government in "hundreds" of cases, including being "personally responsible for solving six homicides," and had played a part in a current investigation into drug trafficking here.
Prosecutor Neil Hurley acknowledged to the judge that Merritt had aided in the prosecution of at least one homicide, but said like every coin "there are two sides to Merritt."
Merritt pleaded guilty last year to defrauding Madeline Furth who told police Merritt had persuaded her to give him $150,000 to fight a court battle being waged by his brothers over a $200,000 family inheritance.
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Walton ordered Merritt to take out a life insurance policy once he is released from prison and to name Furth as his beneficiary.