Thursday, January 13, 2011

The voluminous Barrera mortgage fraud case file and the gems contained within...

We've taken several trips over to the courthouse over the last few years to scour over the various files associated with the cases that we've discussed. You all remember the drill, go over to the Richard E. Gerstein justice building...



Go through security then wrestle with the decrepit elevators and the mobs of stinky ass people till you make it to the ninth floor, make a right and go over to the felony file room...


Fill out the proper forms and if you're lucky you'll find yourself locked in a tiny room with the files that you requested. Once you're in the room you're free to peruse through the files that you requested and order copies. Over the last year or so I did notice something strange about the Barrera mortgage fraud case file...




There were instances where I would request and subsequently be given all three volumes of the file while on other occasions I'd only be given one or two of the three volumes. When I asked why, they tell me that the missing volumes were either still in court or that the prosecutors had them in their office. That makes sense. In other instances I would find documents in these files that would be there one day and disappear the next, in at least one instance I found a plea agreement from one of the codefendants in the Barrera mortgage fraud that wasn't executed well before there was any plea. No big deal, right?

From my experience with these case files, it seems that they aren't really looked after too well and we've seen a couple of examples in the past where sensitive information was either accidentally left in the file or poorly redacted as evidenced by the horrific redacting in the David Rodriguez mortgage fraud case...


As if the redacting that resulted from the sealing of attorney David Rodriguez's criminal history wasn't bad enough, further into the file we find this...


Here we clearly see that Attorney David Rodriguez was defendant "D" in case number F07-3446A-D. So much for sealing the record!

So what does sloppy criminal case files have to do with our story? These files are for lack of a better description almost alive. They're constantly changing, new documents come in, some old ones disappear or get lost, you get the idea. At one point back during the fall of 2009, I found a strange document within the Bernardo Barrera case file, one that I didn't find the next go around or even the one after that. This particular document struck me as strange, among other things it said the following...

Transcribe tape of Xxxxx, etc at attys. office.
That certainly doesn't sound Kosher does it? Obviously I've omitted the name that was listed, regardless, why would you need to transcribe a tape of some people at an attorneys office? That in and of itself doesn't sound that bad, it's the next line that threw me back in my seat...
Need transcriptions: Xxxx Xxxxxxxx body wire at attorneys office.
If there was any confusion about the first statement about a "tape...at attys. office" then this certainly clears it up since there is no way to misinterpret "body wire at attorneys office." Now that we've established that someone was wearing a body wire at an attorneys office, we have to ask, who the hell authored this document that was in the case file that I accidentally stumbled upon and why in the FCUK would they need a transcript of a wire that recorded the conversation between a client(s) and their attorney?


The answer should be more than obvious. More tomorrow...

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