Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So what happens when a government witness pleads out then is caught lying?

That's a question that several of our readers posed yesterday, what's going to be the fate of cooperating government witnesses Rene Rodriguez Jr and Matt Gulla who were found to be somewhat less than honest in their testimony at the Plantation Cops mortgage fraud trial? Both witnesses made startling revelations during the trial and disclosed facts that they somehow forgot to tell the government and their handlers, so what now? In order to get some idea what could happen to these guys we must first take a look at their plea agreements, for today's discussion, let's look at Mr. Rodriguez's plea agreement...

rene rodriguez plea agreement

The first thing that disturbs me is that Mr. Rodriguez executed this plea agreement back on 8/31/09, one full year before the indictment came down. I have to wonder, what was Mr. Rodriguez doing during that year before everyone else was indicted? Do you think he let anyone know what was going on or did he continue doing business and setting up his clients?

From the plea agreement...
  1. The defendant agrees to plead guilty to an indictment to be filed by the United States Attorney's office at a future point in time.
  2. The defendant agrees to plead guilty to the following counts in the indictment to be filed, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1349 and one count of mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1341. The defendant understands the maximum statutory sentence under 18 U.S.C. 1349 and 1341 is a period of up to 20 years in prison, maximum term of up to three years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 as to each count.
So it looks like Mr. Rodriguez is looking at a shit load of time but since he's cooperating with the government they've agreed to argue that in exchange for his cooperation they'll request that his sentence be significantly reduced unless...
...the defendant:
  1. fails or refuses to make a full, accurate and complete disclosure to the probation office of the circumstances surrounding the relevant offense conduct;
  2. is found to have misrepresented facts to the government prior to entering in to this plea agreement; or
  3. commits any misconduct after entering into plea agreement, including but not limited to committing a state or federal offense, violating any term of release or making false statements or misrepresentations to any governmental entity or official.

You don't need to be genius to figure out Mr. Rodriguez's fate after he's embarrassed the government the way he has...

On another note, for those of you following our blog from it's inception, you'll be pleased to know that I'm working on a very interesting lead, a story of a prosecutor making homosexual advances towards a defense witness. Imagine what the bar might think of that?


  1. Excellent Work! I'm trying to understand the motive behind the brokers actions concerning their plea agreement. What could they possibly gain by not fully disclosing everything to the government from the get go? Interesting.

  2. 9:50, once a con man, always a con man. After lying, cheating and defrauding countless banks and clients, what makes you think they'd do any different with the Feds?

  3. Are any of the charges against the regular defendents (the cops) based on activity that occured after the plea? I do not believe Rodriguez destroyed files that the government wanted him to keep.

  4. Didn't these guys have attorneys? I can't imagine an attorney advising them to lie or to destroy data. They got away with fraud for a long time so they can't be completely stupid. (They were dumb to commit the fraud but smart enough to be able to create and manipulate the documents)
    Maybe they thought it was better to destroy the evidence then have it come out later. I wonder what would have given them a longer prison sentence? Lying to get a plea agreement or having possibly very bad evidence come to light.

    What a waste of tax payers money. I despise white collar crimes but really, don't we have bigger problems that affect public safety?

  5. Straw Buyer, I spent a little time researching one of the cops (defendant) real estate purchases from late 2004 to early 2006. During this time, he purchased 5 properties with a combined value of over $2.5 million. He sold two of the properites (one in 2005 and one in 2006) for a profit of $385,000. This guy was a city cop!!! Please explain to me how the broker defrauded this cop. How is this cop innocent????? I'm not taking sides, I think they ALL deserve time.

  6. 12:30, I don't necessarily disagree. Send me what you found.

  7. Simple answer in this case: NOTHING will happen to them. When the government said "I Do" in August of 2009, it was truly for better or worse. Now that the Gulla/Rodriguez wagon is permanently hitched to the government horse, these clowns can do practically whatever they want without recourse. In this case the government is stuck with the "for worse" scenario, and it's funny seeing them squirm in this pile of dogsh*t.

  8. What if all this was a carefully concocted plan by the defendants to undermine the prosecution? Surely a long shot but certainly plausible.

  9. Yes. This makes the most sense. Defendants and Witnesses have planned the entire thing. Witness will serve minimum time under the plea. Defense will walk. 5 years from now, money resurfaces.
    The entire group is still in cahoots.