Posts Tagged ‘Case Fixing’
Organized crime cannot exist without public corruption, and often that includes a judge or two in the pocket.
Italian police have charged a former judge with taking 100,000 euros ($135,000) to release several mobsters since 2009 from the drug-trafficking ‘Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia as reported by ANSA.
One-time highflying Fort Lauderdale lawyer Scott Rothstein accused Charlie Crist of selling judgeships while serving as Florida governor during courtroom testimony in an unrelated case as reported by Marc Caputo for the Miami Herald: “Crist had tapped Rothstein to the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Fourth District Court of Appeal and the Broward Circuit Court,” and “under oath, Rothstein portrayed the former Republican governor, Crist, as someone who essentially sold ‘a few’ unspecified Broward County circuit court judicial appointments in return for political contributions.”
Predictably, Crist denies the allegations as he runs to get his old job back, and his campaign dismisses Rothstein as a convicted felon with no credibility who is looking for a reduced sentence as a cooperating witness with federal prosecutors investigating political corruption in South Florida. Rothstein ran a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme involving his law firm as a front to sell phony legal settlements to investors, and got fifty years in prison for the crime.
No doubt Rothstein is a fraudster but at least some of his allegations in other matters have proven true with corroborating evidence.
For example, Rothstein cooperated with the FBI in a sting which resulted in the bust of Miami Beach wine merchant Roberto Settineri whom U.S. and Italian authorities suspect is an intermediary between the Gambino crime family and the Santa Maria de Gesu clan from Cosa Nostra or the Sicilian Mafia. Settineri was sentenced in November 2010 to four years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.
And Crist is hardly in the position to challenge another’s credibility. The former Governor is aptly called Charlie Hypocrist in the Sunshine State because he’s a political chamelon and unprincipled opportunist who changes his parties and positions more frequently than Sybil changes her personality.
Last February a federal jury convicted personal injury lawyer Marc G. Rosenthal from Austin, TX on thirteen charges for his role in a case-fixing racket operated by District Judge Abel C. Limas, and now the ambulance chaser “has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $12 million dollars in restitution” as reported by Sergio Chapa for KGBT.
Limas pleaded guilty in March 2011, and according to the plea agreement the crooked judge ran his courtroom like a racketeering enterprise pursuant to which he fixed cases as previously reported by The Brownsville Herald: “The criminal activities that the former 404th state District Court judge has pleaded guilty to involve ties with certain attorneys and litigants where he would render favorable rulings in exchange for money.”
Further reading that may be of interest:
Organized crime can’t exist without public corruption, and apparently there’s a a few dirty judicial officers in the Puglian region of southern Italy who took bribes including oysters and champagne in exchange for favorable sentences for criminal defendants as reported by ANSA. The Puglian region is dominated by Mafia group Sacra Corona Unita. It’s remarkable how cheaply some officials sell themselves.
A court clerk is among three individuals charged with offering to fix a case against clan boss Nicola Femia from the ‘Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia in exchage for 400,000 euros ($550,000) as reported by ANSA. As the old saying goes: organized crime cannot exist without public corruption.
Former judge Abel Limas has been sentenced to six years in a federal prison for running his South Texas courtroom like a racketeering enterprise pursuant to which he fixed cases as reported by Aaron Nelson for the San Antonio Express-News: “in 2011, Limas pleaded guilty to racketeering as part of an investigation that uncovered how the ex-judge received $257,300 in bribes in return for court favors.”