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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Feds Ask Judge To Review Actions of Defense Attorney

Feds ask judge to review defense lawyer in hip hop mogul drug case
The New York Post by Mitchel Maddux  -  July 12, 2011

Federal prosecutors say a defense attorney for hip hop music producer James Rosemond served as "house counsel" for the rapper's alleged cocaine empire.

The feds say Jeffery Lichtman's involvement in defending the rap producer in his upcoming drug distribution trial may pose potential conflicts of interest and asked a Brooklyn federal judge to review the matter.  However, the feds make no allegations of any criminal wrongdoing .  Prosecutors say the attorney accepted approximately $150,000 in cash from Rosemond to pay for legal services, but the feds acknowledge that the defense attorney filled out required IRS forms.  Lichtman countered that transaction was above board - he deposited money in a bank and submitted required government documents.  The attorney also denied a suggestion that he tried to find out if a man allegedly involved in the cocaine trafficking enterprise was cooperating with the feds.  Prosecutors also pointed out that Lichtman represented others charged in the coke case, which they say creates a conflict of interest - although the defense attorney disagreed.  Lichtman, a prominent Manhattan defense lawyer, insisted that he's done nothing wrong and offered to take a lie detector case.  He charged that the feds have an ulterior motive in filing the letter with Judge John Gleeson.  "This is a transparent and desperate attempt to get me off a case," Lichtman said.  Shortly before Rosemond's arrest last month, a man serving life in prison claimed that the music producer was involved in an attempt to kill rapper Tupac Shakur.  Dexter Isaac claimed he shot Tupac in 1994 at the direction of Rosemond during the bloody East-West war that then defined hip-hop culture.  In a statement posted on AllHipHop.com, Isaac apologized for the infamous near-fatal attack.  Tupac -- who was born in East Harlem but made his career in Northern California -- survived the attack, only to be shot dead on Sept. 13, 1996, in Las Vegas.  Lichtman has said that Issac is simply a convicted killer who is spinning a tale.  mmaddux@nypost.com


-------- RELATED STORY:


U.S. Tries to Remove Hip-Hop Mogul's Counsel in Drug Case
The New York Law Journal by Daniel Wise  -  July 13, 2011

The Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office did not accuse Jeffrey Lichtman of engaging in any of the crimes charged against his client, but asked Judge John Gleeson to bar him as James Rosemond's lawyer based on Mr. Lichtman's multiple conflicting prior representations, his role as a "critical link" in his client's scheme to block a witness from cooperating and his acceptance of $150,000 in cash as fees.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn moved Monday to kick one of New York's most prominent defense lawyers off the case of a hip-hop mogul who is accused of operating a $10 million-a-year bi-coastal cocaine operation.  The Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office claims that Jeffrey Lichtman was house counsel to a drug-trafficking enterprise run by James Rosemond, whose talent management company represents Game and other well-known hip-hop artists.  Mr. Lichtman, in an interview, brushed off the government's motion as an "almost laughable" attempt to tar him with wrongdoing "for ethical and legal" steps he had taken to defend Mr. Rosemond.  In seeking Mr. Lichtman's removal for conflicts of interest, prosecutors also described him as a "critical link" in Mr. Rosemond's scheme to block a witness from cooperating with the government.  The U.S. in United States v. Rosemond, 11-cr-424, did not accuse Mr. Lichtman of engaging in any of the crimes charged against Mr. Rosemond, including obstruction of justice, which would have required Judge John Gleeson, who presides over the case against Mr. Rosemond and four other defendants, to disqualify Mr. Lichtman.  Instead, citing multiple conflicting prior representations, including Mr. Lichtman's alleged role as house counsel, his factual knowledge relating to the obstruction of justice count against his client and his acceptance of $150,000 in cash as fees, prosecutors asked Judge Gleeson to bar him as Mr. Rosemond's lawyer.

Criminal law experts said Judge Gleeson has broad discretion in deciding whether Mr. Lichtman should be disqualified if his continued representation threatens the integrity of the trial process.  Without such a ruling by the judge, Mr. Rosemond would be able to keep Mr. Lichtman as his lawyer by waiving any conflict.  The U.S. skated closest to accusing Mr. Lichtman of a crime in its detailed description of the evidence that Mr. Rosemond sought to block a witness from cooperating with the government. The witness was identified only as confidential witness CW-3.  CW-3, after being arrested in California on charges of supplying cocaine to Mr. Rosemond's organization in summer 2010, pleaded guilty. He eventually told prosecutors that he had sold Mr. Rosemond's operation more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, some of which Mr. Rosemond had personally ordered.  The U.S. contends that in the past four years, the group has distributed more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine, generating millions of dollars in revenues.  After CW-3 was brought to the Eastern District of New York, another top-level operative in the organization, who subsequently also became an informant, arranged for CW-3 to be represented by an unidentified New York City defense lawyer, according to the government. In December 2010, CW-3, represented by the lawyer, decided to cooperate and met with prosecutors.  On Dec. 17, CW-1, who had not yet flipped, met with the New York City lawyer and told him that Mr. Rosemond was aware that CW-3 was cooperating and asked the lawyer to withdraw. When the lawyer balked, CW-1 showed him the notes he had made of the meeting that the lawyer and CW-3 had with prosecutors, according to the letter the prosecutors submitted to Judge Gleeson asking for Mr. Lichtman's removal.

The New York City attorney, who told prosecutors he "feared for his safety," said that the only person he had shown his notes to was a lawyer who had represented CW-3 in California before he was brought to New York, according to the letter that was signed by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Pokorney and Todd Kaminsky.  On Dec. 18 and 19, first Mr. Lichtman's investigator alone and then Mr. Lichtman with his investigator met with CW-3, who was incarcerated, and asked him questions about his cooperation. At the same time, according to the prosecution's letter, Mr. Rosemond called CW-3's wife and told her that he was upset that her husband was cooperating.  It is "reasonable to infer" that these events, occurring over three days starting with the disclosure of the New York City lawyer's notes of the meeting with prosecutors, "are probative of Rosemond's scheme to prevent CW-3 from cooperating," the Eastern District prosecutors stated in the letter.  The prosecutors added that Mr. Lichtman's contact with CW-3 was "a critical link in the chain of events charged in the obstruction-of-justice count." But the prosecutors acknowledged that they had no evidence Mr. Lichtman was aware of his client's actions.  Nonetheless, they argued that disqualification was required because Mr. Lichtman could be called as a witness with personal knowledge underlying the obstruction-of-justice charge.

Similarly, the prosecutors wrote, Mr. Lichtman's acceptance of $150,000 in cash and his representation of 10 individuals, including Mr. Rosemond, as either co-defendants in the current prosecution or gang members in prior prosecutions, meant the lawyer had personal knowledge of the scope of the criminal enterprise, a critical element of a racketeering prosecution.  Mr. Lichtman countered that the government was pillorying him for doing precisely what he is ethically required to do.  "Every lawyer has an ethical obligation to interview witnesses," he said.  Similarly, he said, the government's information about Mr. Rosemond's payment of fees in cash only came out because he had properly completed tax forms required whenever an individual receives more than $10,000 in cash.  "What house counsel who is trying to protect the 'house' is going to fill out the tax form," he said. "It's like the Salem witch trials. If I float they hang me; if I sink, I'm dead."  Mr. Lichtman, a 1990 graduate of Duke University School of Law, has had a number of high-profile clients since first opening his own office in 1999.  In 2005, he succeeded in derailing a Southern District prosecution of John A. Gotti, the scion of the Gambino crime family. A jury acquitted Mr. Gotti, known as "Junior," on one count and hung on three others in a case that included charges involving the kidnapping and shooting of Guardian Angels founder and radio talk host Curtis Sliwa.  Mr. Lichtman, 46, also won the freedom of a man ho had been sentenced to prison for 27 years in New Jersey for sexually assaulting four alleged victims. He has also represented a retired New York City police detective on charges of robbing drug dealers and has represented AIG executives named in a probe of the insurance industry by the New York attorney general.  Before setting out on his own, Mr. Lichtman spent six years working with Gerald Shargel, who himself has had many high-profile clients, including Mr. Gotti's father, John J. Gotti.  Daniel Wise can be contacted at dwise@alm.com.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Check this out .... please post.........:

Former Bankruptcy Trustee Pleads Guilty to Embezzling from an Estate
U.S. Attorney’s Office
July 12, 2011

District of Connecticut
(203) 821-3700
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL J. DALY, 54, of West Simsbury, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to one count of embezzlement by a court officer.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 13, 2004, a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed on behalf of Lehman Brothers, Inc., a Connecticut-based print shop. On December 5, 2008, the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy was converted from a chapter 11 to a chapter 7 case. On that same date, DALY was appointed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut as the trustee of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. As trustee of an estate that converted to chapter 7 from chapter 11, DALY was responsible for closing the company’s “Debtor-in-Possession” account, or “DIP.” The DIP may be maintained as an operating account during a chapter 11 reorganization, but is closed if the company converts to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

Lehman Brothers’ DIP account was left open until June 29, 2009. Over that approximately six-month period, the account was credited with 10 customer deposits for completed print jobs, for a total of $11,584.31. In January and February 2009, DALY made four unauthorized withdrawals from the DIP account in the total amount of $11,100. Each withdrawal was taken in the form of a bank check payable to DALY, which was then deposited into his own business account or converted to cash. DALY then disposed of the proceeds through transfer to his personal bank account and for personal expenses.

As a condition of his plea, DALY will voluntarily surrender his license to practice law.

Chief Judge Thompson has scheduled sentencing for September 28, 2011, at which time DALY faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Fein acknowledged the substantial efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter, with great assistance from several members of the Office of the United States Trustee.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David E. Novick.

Members of the public can report suspected bankruptcy fraud via e-mail to USTP.Bankruptcy.Fraud@usdoj.gov.

Anonymous said...

If OCA is too powerful to fail, be prosecuted or left to discriminate and abuse..how does everyone expect anyone else to be scrutinized,addressed or suffer any punishment?

The NY court system must be taken apart in order for any other Americans to suffer consequences for criminal actions.

The recent Fla. trial of Casey Anthony does not instill in me anything but.... the fact that she is no worse than OCA, as OCA has attempted to commit murder, harm innocent citizens and hire state workers to perform physical abuse ,outside of NYC and most likely committed murder in NYC.

So unless the court system is pure and judicial in it's actions and dealings...criminals who get away with murder are definitely just similar to the level of the justice system, here in NY State, and are suffering nothing different, in accordance with its entity of justice.

You cannot hold Ameicans to a higher standard than it's justice system...that purports to be in place to JUDGE and punish those who are criminals. The ones that are similar to those above, who are administrating or working within OCA, cannot continue to commit crimes, as OCA will continue to be disrespected and disregarded.

Gut OCA in order to bring America back to order and afford justice to all. Whoever gets the ax...so be it...top to bottom...no sympathy for anyone who has participated in the corruption.

Radical..but realistic!

Anonymous said...

it's nice to know that attorneys like Michael Daly in CT STEAL! THROW THE BUM IN JAIL! What has the CT Bar done? ZIPPO! this story should be on the front page of the NY TIMES!

Jeffrey Licthman has a target on his back, there is a group of creeps that want to get his law license and destroy him and anyone who help him by any means necessary. This is the illegal system we have and it's only going to get worse!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Looks like someone forgot to pay someone...

"A former senior partner at a prestigious New York law firm has been indicted by the feds for allegedly hiding $2.1 million from the IRS."

-----

But obviously, he still had plenty of friends in the prosecutor's office as they tipped him off in time to get rid of assets...

"According to public records, Freedman recently transferred his Pine Plains, NY home to his wife, and his Manhattan apartment was transferred to a California trust.

Freedman is still licensed to practice law in New York, according to state records. He also previously practiced in Illinois."



Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/former_kirkland_ellis_partner_indicted_7HtCwdqndYXluSa7tdNaSI#ixzz1S6f7uk00


I'm beginning to think that the IRS may be the only part of the US government that actually does their jobs.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to think that the IRS may be the only part of the US government that actually does their jobs


your right, but once again, that is because there is money in it and the target has to pay!

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to think that the IRS may be the only part of the US government that actually does their jobs


your right, but once again, that is because there is money in it and the target has to pay!

Anonymous said...

haha. Yes it's about the $$

If anyone has the time, they should go through the public records (which are all available online) to see all the property that these judges own and post it.

Judges like Surrogate Court Judge Scarpino sure has a lot of property considering he his working for slaves wages.

Then maybe they could explain to the IRS how they manage to afford all of this.

Cannavaro said...

Hi

I read this post two times.

I like it so much, please try to keep posting.

Let me introduce other material that may be good for our community.

Source: Defense attorney interview questions

Best regards
Henry

Blog Archive

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