Justice Brooklyn Style
Multi-Million Dollar Fraud OK’D
Criminal Investigation K0’D
Disbarred NY Lawyer Accuses U.S. Prosecutors of ‘Foot-Dragging’ in Failure to Obtain Indictment of Well-Connected White Collar Targets; Federal Judge Unwittingly ‘Abetted’ Derailment of Justice; Counsel for Grievance Committee Knowingly Filed Fabricated Charges
A former lawyer, Israel Weinstock, protesting his disbarment last year after an otherwise unblemished 42-year career, accuses federal prosecutors in Brooklyn of “foot-dragging or worse” in their unsuccessful attempt to secure indictments against individuals found by two federal judges to have engaged in fraud and perjury. He was deliberately denied an evidentiary hearing which would have established, beyond any doubt, that his accusers had invented charges against him for the sole purpose of shielding themselves from criminal prosecution. His accusers had admitted, under oath, that their charges were contrived. Additionally, since his disbarment, a jury unanimously concluded that his accusers and their attorneys defrauded him and many others, using the courts as a vehicle to perpetrate their frauds. Just last week his principal accuser, one Emmerich Handler, has been charged by the Trustee in bankruptcy proceedings (Bankruptcy Court, E.D.N.Y., Case No. 00-14960-608) with the fraudulent concealment of assets in order to avoid paying his creditors. One of the properties he concealed was the multi-million dollar property which Mr. Weinstock alleges was stolen from him by Mr. Handler and his attorneys.
Mr. Weinstock traces all of his legal problems to his resisting the theft of multi-million dollar properties from him by the self-proclaimed “prestigious law firm” Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and a few of their clients, including one Emmerich Handler—at the time that Weinstock was expected to die from cancer and a subsequent heart attack. Weinstock has provided compelling documentary proof that the properties were stolen from him in a scheme hatched by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Weinstock maintains that only through political connections has Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Emmerich Handler and his partners avoided prosecution.
Israel Weinstock, who formerly practiced from an office in Belle Harbor, also alleges that Government prosecutors – specifically the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York – misled the federal court for this district in their defense against a lawsuit that he brought to compel them to present charges, including those based on the two judges’ findings, to a grand jury. And “undue influence” by former prosecutors may have contributed to the failure to indict Emmerich Handler and his wife, Rita Handler, their business partner Samuel Roth and some of their attorneys who participated in Handler’s frauds, according to Weinstock.
In a lawsuit commenced by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in the Supreme Court, Kings County, Mr. Handler asserted, under oath, that he together with a charitable institution owned 48% of a real estate corporation. However, when the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) obtained a judgment against him for about $500,000, Handler asserted, again under oath, that he was impoverished and relying upon Social Security and the largess of his daughter for subsistence. When Mr. Weinstock brought these contradictions to the attention of the FDIC and referred to the fraudulent conduct of Handler, his “partner in crime” one Samuel Roth and some of their attorneys, Handler and Roth sued Weinstock for defamation. The defamation lawsuit against Weinstock came to trial in the Supreme Court, Kings County, in June 2002. The jury determined that Weinstock’s allegations that Handler (and Roth) and their attorneys used the courts as a vehicle to legitimize their criminal conduct, were true. Mr. Roth testified during that defamation trial that he had previously testified before a Grand Jury with respect to Weinstock’s allegations of fraud and that he had been “exonerated”. The jury unanimously rejected that testimony and found Roth to be a Handler “partner in crime.”
Mr. Weinstock contends that his disbarment was procured by Handler’s attorneys, including members of several prestigious law firms, after he refused to accede to offers – which Mr. Weinstock characterizes as extortion and obstruction of justice – to see that the disciplinary charges against him would “‘go away’” if he ceased trying to persuade prosecutors to obtain indictments of the Handlers, Roth and the major New York law firm, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.
Mr. Weinstock contends that a competent investigation of his charges, conducted in good faith, would have gleaned compelling evidence to convince a reasonable grand jury to indict. After all, he notes, U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson, Jr. forwarded to prosecutors a formal complaint against Mr. Handler and “the whole world around him”, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court Richard Bohanon also concluded that Mr. Roth had committed fraud in connection with proceedings on the Handlers’ numerous bankruptcy filings. Both judges sit in the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Weinstock makes these charges in papers filed October 31, 2003 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (CV-02-3060). In the papers Mr. Weinstock asks the court to vacate an order, issued last May, that dismisses the case he filed to compel the Government to submit his accusations to a grand jury.
The court stated that its dismissal was based on a legal memorandum and affidavits submitted by the prosecutors to the court “under seal” and “ex parte”. Thus, as Mr. Weinstock complains, he was never allowed to see the Government’s response to his lawsuit.
No reason was given by the court for allowing the papers submitted by the Government to remain under seal. Nor did the court reveal in its two-page, five-sentence “Memorandum and Order” what the Government had said in its papers. Instead, the court stated: “For the reasons set forth in defendants’ affidavits and memorandum of law filed ex parte under seal, the Court determines that the action is moot and dismisses the complaint in its entirety pursuant to [a federal rule of civil procedure, 12(b)(1), that allows dismissal for lack of “subject matter jurisdiction”, which is a deficiency that includes mootness].”
“I would expect something like this in a Stalinist show trial, but not in a court system that professes to respect the ideals of individual justice, limited powers of the government, and the rule of law,” Mr. Weinstock said in a prepared statement released to media with copies of the papers he filed. Dismissal of his case was part of a “derailment of justice”, he said, referring to the larger issue of the Government’s failure to prosecute the Handlers, Mr. Roth and some of their attorneys who actively participated in the various frauds.
Mr. Weinstock said the facts indicate that the Government may have “perpetrated a fraud” and a “sham” on the court, and that detection of such a fraud would be “immeasurably more difficult” if the Government’s papers remained under seal. He complained further that the court itself had “unwittingly abetted” the Government’s wrongs. Mr. Weinstock asks the court to unseal all papers filed in the case.
Unsealing the papers filed by the Government would reveal whether the charges against the Handlers, Roth and some of their attorneys had already been presented to a grand jury, and rejected. If the Roth testimony in the defamation trial is to be believed and Roth did testify before the Grand Jury and was indeed “exonerated”, then he must have, of necessity, perjured himself before the Grand Jury. “After all”, said Weinstock, “a jury hearing the facts of Mr. Roth’s conduct unanimously concluded that Mr. Roth was ‘a partner in crime’ with Mr. Handler”.
Mr. Weinstock says this is the most likely basis for the court’s finding that his case was “moot”, although he disputes vigorously the proposition that an unsuccessful presentment to a grand jury could ever render “moot” the Government’s obligation to prosecute crimes when it knows or should know those crimes have been committed and who committed them.
In his papers seeking reinstatement of the suit Mr. Weinstock notes that “resubmission” of charges to a grand jury may be authorized by a U.S. Attorney, according to the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual, and that therefore the court itself should do so, as is expressly allowed by a provision of the federal criminal code that Mr. Weinstock relied on in bringing his suit, Section 3332(a) of Title 18.
He charges also that the Handlers, Mr. Roth, and some of their attorneys have continued to engage in a criminal conspiracy and that they committed indictable offenses after the grand jury’s presumed rejection of the charges presented by the Government. Prosecution cannot be barred by limitations, since the conspiracy is continuing, Mr. Weinstock says, and the offenses perpetrated by the Handlers, Mr. Roth, and some of their attorneys include fraud against financial institutions and thus are subject to a 10-year period of limitations.
The Government’s attempt to secure indictments was necessarily – and purposefully – inadequate, Mr. Weinstock asserts, noting that none of some 20 witnesses with knowledge of the pertinent facts, including himself, was ever interviewed by Government investigators or offered the opportunity to testify to the grand jury. He argues further that such an inadequacy may well have resulted from a lack of commitment by prosecutors who were looking to their next job – in which they would be representing targets of criminal charges such as the Handlers, Mr. Roth, and some of their attorneys or even representing these specific individuals and related interests. He refers specifically to the departure from the Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s office of one of its supervisory attorneys – Criminal Division Chief Jonathan Sack – to take a position with one of the law firms representing the Handlers: Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Silberberg, P.C. Also, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, Andrew Maloney, subsequently represented the Handlers, and former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum – once dubbed by the New York Times as “the fixer” – subsequently represented the “prestigious” law firm, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, when he sued said firm in a civil RICO case, along with Messrs. Handler and Roth.
Further, Mr. Nussbaum served as White House counsel at the time of President Clinton’s appointment of federal district Judge Frederick Block, who dismissed Mr. Weinstock’s case seeking to compel Government prosecutors to present charges against the Handlers and their cohorts, and has allowed the Government’s response to the suit to remain secret.
“Totally insulating the Government’s actions from adversarial or public scrutiny leaves unaddressed the strong possibility that the Government’s submission to the grand jury was merely a sham”, Mr. Weinstock says.
Mr. Weinstock contends further that his own disbarment was procured by the influence of his adversaries in the hideous theft of his properties when Mr. Weinstock was at death’s door. In an affidavit submitted to the court, Mr. Weinstock affirms that a lawyer representing the Grievance Committee for the Second and Eleventh Departments of the State Supreme Court “suggested” that if he desisted from his attempts to bring about prosecution of the perpetrators, the disciplinary charges, which subsequently led to his disbarment, would “go away.” Mr. Weinstock contends that the disciplinary charges were instituted by Mr. Handler’s criminal defense attorneys (one of whom formerly served as counsel to a Grievance Committee) who Handler retained after federal judge Robert Patterson threatened to jail him.
Mr. Weinstock holds judgments against Handler that are worth more than $2 million, but he says Handler has fraudulently “parked”, or concealed, his assets to prevent collection.
Mr. Weinstock says he has evidence showing that the putative targets of his charges have netted millions upon millions of dollars from their criminal efforts and schemes, involving mostly real estate transactions and “investments.”
Mr. Weinstock contends that the Handlers, Roth, and some of their lawyers conspired to commit perjury and subornation of perjury, financial fraud against financial institutions and the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and obstruction of justice, attempted extortion and blackmail perpetrated against Mr. Weinstock himself, resulting in his disbarment.
Last year’s vindication by the jury in the defamation case certainly demonstrate that Weinstock has presented sufficient evidence to persuade a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that the Handlers, Mr. Roth and some of their attorneys committed the crimes lodged against them by Mr. Weinstock. A grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence of the persons it charges, but only whether there is probable cause to believe that the persons it indicts committed the crimes that are charged.
That Mr. Roth is free to say – perhaps truthfully – that a grand jury refused to indict him adds fuel to Mr. Weinstock’s ire against the prosecutors. A large measure of his obvious frustration stems from the prosecutors’ silence.
Mr. Weinstock had written to Alan Vinegrad, then the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and informed him fully of the jury’s “special verdicts” in the multi-count defamation case. But, as with all of “at least a dozen [other] letters” send to the U.S. Attorney’s office by Mr. Weinstock, there was no response to the letter announcing his victory in the defamation case – which victory vindicated Mr. Weinstock and condemned the conduct of handler, Roth and their attorneys. One can only speculate as to why the Grand Jury, if one was indeed convened, did not even find probable cause.
Please visit www.lawyerfraud.com to read more about Weinstock’s case or www.greatestscoops.com.