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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

U.S. Attorney: "Justice Not for Sale" in Lawyer Obstruction of Justice case

Two Lawyers Plead Guilty to Selling Phony "Get Out of Jail Free" Card
New York Lawyer - June 11, 2008

Two R.I. lawyers plead guilty to obstruction of justice, other charges By Sheri Qualters The National Law Journal

Two Rhode Island lawyers, including the brother of Providence's mayor, and a legal assistant pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston recently to charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of justice and making false statements. Criminal defense lawyers Joseph A. Bevilacqua Jr. and John M. Cicilline, the brother of Providence's mayor David Cicilline, and legal assistant Lisa Torres all pled guilty on June 6 to conspiracy to obstruct justice and defraud the U.S. Cicilline and Torres also pled guilty to obstruction of justice and making false statements. USA v. Cicilline, No. 1:07-cr-10008 (D. Mass.) The trio allegedly promised clients information they could give to the government to avoid prison sentences in exchange for payments of tens of thousands of dollars.

"[The] guilty pleas should make it clear that justice is not for sale," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Michael Sullivan. "It is especially troubling that these allegations involve attorneys — who are expected to hold to the highest ethical standards and conduct themselves with honesty and integrity." Cicilline's lawyer Richard M. Egbert of the Law Offices of Richard M. Egbert in Boston declined to comment prior to the sentencing hearing. Torres' attorney Miriam Conrad, a lawyer in the federal defenders' office in Boston, also declined to comment. Bevilacqua's lawyer Thomas A. Tarro III did not respond to requests for comment. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, Bevilacqua and Cicilline started representing a couple charged with drug trafficking and money laundering in 2002. The couple faced minimum 10-year prison sentences if they didn't cooperate with the government.

Bevilacqua allegedly offered the couple information they could give to the government in exchange for $220,000. The couple ultimately paid Bevilacqua and an assistant $100,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. When Bevilacqua and the assistant did not produce the information, Cicilline told the couple he would make sure Bevilacqua and the assistant followed through with their promise, or help them himself, for an extra $50,000. Cicilline then brought Torres into the scheme. Under the terms of the plea agreements, Bevilacqua will serve a 21-month sentence and Cicilline will serve an 18-month sentence and pay restitution of $15,000 and a $4,000 fine. Both will give up practicing law. Torres' sentence is 18 months. At the end of their sentences, each of the three will be subject to two years of supervised release.

4 comments:

a true new yorker said...

Come to NY, where justice is indeed for sale. Hell, they'd sell their own mother for a penny.

a fly on the wall said...

Ha, Ha, Justice has and is "FOR SALE" in NY, just ask anyone. Michael Sullivan should come to NY and he would more than make his bones. Michael where are you my boy, when we really need you? Come on down and rack up the convictions, my boy you can makes us proud!

Anonymous said...

the FIX,ops I mean Justice is for sale each and everyday here in the Empire State and much of it is on the cheap! It's all about who you know = a contract

not stupid said...

this is a massive conflict of interest. J. Kaye and all these people should go to jail for what they are pulling - and no pensions!

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2