Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Another high profile SURRENDER!

We talked about surrender back in the beginning of November, it looks like we have another high profile surrender to talk about today, the surrender of billion dollar ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein. Based on what we've read in the Justice Building Blog and the CBS4 website, it looks like disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein turned himself in this morning...

Consider for a moment that not only is this attorney accused of fleecing his clients out of just over a billion dollars, but when things started to get hot HE HAULED ASS AND TOOK OFF TO MOROCCO! Not only did he leave the United States but he took off to a country with no extradition treaty with the United States! Yet despite the fact that he stole an ungodly amount of money, fled the country and threatened to kill himself, the authorities decided to allow him to surrender himself. That's fine, standard operating procedure if nothing else, as stated in the article written by attorney Brian Tannebaum in his blog:
Surrendering to authorities means that either there is a mature, experienced agent or police officer on the case, or that heavy negotiations took place, or that there's some pissed off cop who didn't get a chance to have his "fun."
So what does that have to do with our story? As much as I'd like to think that the way the arrests went down were a result of Detective Jorge Baluja wanting to have his "fun", I know otherwise, Detective Baluja put the blame on how the arrests went down squarely at the feet of Assistant State Attorney Bill Kostrzewski. Consider for a moment when the arrests were made in the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud case, two of the defendants had prior criminal histories so it's somewhat safe to say that they might be a "flight risk", the remaining defendant (the attorney) had no criminal history. With that in mind along with the recent high profile cases where the defendants were allowed to surrender, the question that begs to be asked is why did Assistant State Attorney Bill Kostrzewski order the police to arrest the attorney that was charged in the case? Regardless of the fact that it's common courtesy to allow someone who knows that they may be arrested to surrender themselves, didn't the ASA owe a fellow attorney the courtesy of turning themselves in? I suppose there's a minimum amount you need to be accused of stealing before you're allowed to turn yourself in? What is it Bill, a million dollars? One hundred million dollars? Perhaps a Billion dollars? Here we are nearly 14 months later, the two co defendants have plead out (for those keeping score here are the numbers), by my numbers the remaining defendant is accused of making roughly $1,200? LEGALLY NO LESS?!

What's the answer folks? I don't know, but I'm thinking that Mr. Kostrzewski decided to pull his stunt to effect the maximum damage possible to the attorney he charged. Nothing makes a headline like bringing down an attorney now does it Bill? As a lay person, I'll attribute this behavior to the ethically deficient prosecutors bag of dirty tricks.

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