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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Revisited Legal Strategy: Just Have Witness Killed (FOR FULL STORY, CLICK HERE)

The New York Post by STEFANIE COHEN and CLEMENTE LISI - September 10, 2008

A prominent lawyer was charged today with attempting to "eliminate" the main witness against his drug kingpin client, federal officials said. Robert Simels was arrested this afternoon and accused in an 18-page federal complaint of paying $1,000 for the hit - which also included strict orders not to kill the witness' mother. Simels, who will be arraigned with conspiring to obstruct justice this afternoon in Brooklyn federal court, is alleged to have arranged the hit for his client, Shaheed Kahn, who ran a drug-dealing ring known as the "Phantom Squad." Kahn allegedly told Simels that the case against him hinged on one man - identified in court papers as "John Doe No 1." Simels wanted to "eliminate" and "neutralize" the witness, authorities said.

He allegedly told a government informant at one point that, "Obviously, any witness you can eliminate is a good thing." The feds said that on June 19, Simels met with the government informant in his Manhattan office and handed over $1,000 down payment for the hit. The two were caught on tape, according to the federal complaint, with Simels saying, "Here's $1,000 to get started." When the undercover informant said "no problem," Simels replied, "All [Kahn] says is be careful. He says don't kill the [witness'] mother." During the brief conversation, Simels also said, "Well, [Kahn] would like as much pressure being put on [John Doe No. 1] as possible." During his 30-year career, Simels has represented several dangerous criminals as well as A-list stars. He has defender the likes of Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, a notorious gang leader who built a crack empire in Queens and had two rivals assassinated in 2001; former Jets stars Marc Gastineau and Ken O'Brien; and mobster-turned-rat Henry Hill, whose life was the basis for the hit movie, "Goodfellas."


Here's the New York Daily News article on 'Officer of the Court' Robert Simels:

Lawyer plotted to kill and bribe witnesses in drug goon's trial - feds
The New York Daily News by JOHN MARZULLI - September 10, 2008

A prominent defense lawyer was busted Wednesday on charges he and a major narcotics trafficker plotted to bribe witnesses or murder their family members. Robert Simels, whose roster of clients includes drug kingpin Kenneth (Supreme) McGriff, former football star Mark Gastineau and gangster Henry Hill of "GoodFellas" fame, was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration agents at his upper East Side office. On his Web site, the flamboyant lawyer notes he started out prosecuting corrupt cops, led a "legendary" law firm and was once dubbed "the Rolls-Royce of litigators."

Simels, 61, is charged with obstructing justice by conspiring to "eliminate" and "neutralize" potential witnesses who might testify at the upcoming trial of client Shaheed (Roger) Khan, a reputed leader of a violent drug organization based in Georgetown, Guyana. Brooklyn federal prosecutors say Simels asked a member of Khan's so-called "Phantom Squad" - a paramilitary group that provides muscle for the drug dealers - for help last May in finding rats who cooperated against his client. Prosecutors said the Phantom member was one of those rats. "Simels discussed with the (informant) what to do when the potential witnesses or their family members were located," DEA agent Cassandra Jackson said in an affidavit. "In substance and in part, Simels discussed a range of options, from offering them money to murdering their family members." In one secretly recorded conversation, he asked about "heat" coming back to Khan if a government witness refused to testify because someone close to him or her "falls off the face of the Earth." Simels told the informant he was leaving it up to him to figure out "what's going to best get to him (the witness)," but later told the informant not to kill the witness' mother. Simels was released on a $3.5 million bond secured by his home in Waccabuc, Westchester County. Khan, also charged in the conspiracy, was not in court Wednesday. Simels' associate Arienne Irving, who also was arrested, was freed on a $500,000 bond. "Bob Simels is well-known as a tenacious, effective and highly capable defense lawyer and he was doing his work," said his lawyer Gerald Shargel. "These charges are false and we intend to mount a vigorous defense."



Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't counselor participate in this elimination behavior?
I have proof that the place he conducts business in everyday, as a lawyer ... the court buildings of THE OFFICE OF COURT ADMINISTRATION... uses this very despicable same MODUS OPERANDI!
OCA, if they feel threatened in their illegal conduct, will make attempts to harm or kill you, using accident situations for that purpose.
If that does not succeed, OCA then pursues, to secretly plot to have you arrested, while that conversation commands... that they cannot be connected to that behavior!
It sounds crazy...but it is true and will be sworn to as such!
So I see this lawyer, as a product of his work environment! 30 some years of this influence will destroy the strongest!

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the previous comment..... as in: 'when in Rome....' Here in New York it's: "When in the court's corrupt hell...."

Anonymous said...

There is really nothing wrong with eliminating a witness who can't help you or, god forbid, actually hurt your case. This is New York , this is how things are done here.

Anonymous said...

this is another example of the criminal mind of the lawyers, the law means nothing......the revolution is coming and these people will be out.

Anonymous said...

To those comments that claim "oh well this is ny" you are sick new yorkers. that fatalist attitude is what is costing the country. ny was once respected, shrewd but respected. what is going on there is ludicrous and the people need revolt. if your courts suck, outst the dirt. this is a scumbag lawyer and his scumbag client who are murderers not typical new yorkers.
i have run into scumbag new york lawyers, they stole my patents and put a bomb in my car . Yet that does not mean all lawyers in ny have degraded to such. I have went to play in their ny court of corruptions and they have used all their dirt against me. i do not resign in oh well that's how it works and bury me head in the sand. no i gear up for battle, good v. evil where it is good that prevails or we die trying.

glad to see one more scumbag lawyer going down. Let's see with Gonzales, Muckasey, Rove, Libby, Abramoff, Greenberg Traurig all exposed and some even tried, it's a healthy start. After nailing them all and stripping their ill gotten power of abuse, we will say that's how new yorkers are, pipe hittin boys, not wussies who allow a bunch of demented corrupt goons run their city and courts and police, etc.
The way to kill evil is to fight it not succumb to it, those that do are worse than evil itself.
bat out of hell

Anonymous said...

If Bat out of Hell wrote the above, I see some bad deterioration! It cannot be you...doesn't sound even intelligent.
So to whomever wrote the above...what was stated above you, was sarcasm about how really extreme the corruption is in the judicial system, and how almost no attention is being given to it's status!
they are jokes and irony..not at all agreements to that activity.
Wish you well, whomever felt hurt by irony!

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