It's an age old scam, a group of people get caught committing a crime which then triggers a race to the prosecutors office to see who can cut a deal first to save their own ass by selling out their co-conspirators. Sometimes people are forced to cut these kind of deals because they don't have the money to defend themselves or worse when the mountain of evidence before them is insurmountable and there's no sense in going to trial. In these cases the only way out may be to cut a deal and give the government whatever they need to bury the other defendants. Not exactly the honorable thing to do but whatever.
There's another reason to turn on your cohorts and cooperate with the government. What if you're a seasoned career criminal who knows that they can get out of just about any crime and be back on the street to commit more crime by simply cooperating with law enforcement and prosecutors? Wouldn't that give you an air of infallibility and the license to do just about anything you wanted? Think about it, forge some documents? Fuck it, I'll cut a deal. Fabricate fake tax returns? Fuck it, I'll cut a deal. Scam customers and rape them with exorbitant fees? Fuck it, I'll cut a deal. Screw banks out of millions of dollars? Fuck it, I'll cut a deal. As long as there's a bigger fish than you in your group, you'll be good to go.
Now, coming back to the Plantation Cop's mortgage fraud scheme, the two most important cooperating witnesses for the government till now have been the two mortgage brokers, Rene Rodriguez, Jr and Matt Gulla. From what we've been able to find, these two mortgage brokers were at the very epicenter of hundreds if not thousands of mortgage frauds as well as the ones that were included in the Plantation Cops federal mortgage fraud indictment. Who knows exactly what their reasons were, but they were the first ones to run to the government to cut a deal and cooperate against the remaining co-defendants. Like we said earlier, nothing strange about this, standard operating procedure for people caught committing a crime that are trying to find the easiest way out.
While the indictment against the Plantation Cop's was filed in mid 2010, it seems like Rene Rodriguez and Matt Gulla were racing to the prosecutors office to cut a deal as early as late 2008/early 2009. No big deal right? While going through the voluminous files that are part of this case, I came across an interesting bit of information over the weekend, it turns out that during the peak of the real estate boom, around 2005, the same time frame that the homes that were included in the federal indictment were bought and sold, Mr. Rodriguez was cooperating with the government on another case! Think about that for a moment. How do you think Mr. Rodriguez's business partners, friends and clients would have behaved if they knew that he was a cooperating witness on another case? Remember that air of infallibility we spoke of? Do you think Mr. Rodriguez's judgement may have been impaired when he was forging all those mortgage docs, creating all that bogus paperwork, raping banks out of millions of dollars all the while knowing that if the shit hit the fan he had a get out of jail free card in his pocket? From the opening statements...
In furtherance of his cooperation, am I able to go into that, he learned from an early stage, once his hand is caught in the cookie jar, how to get it out nice and clean? He learned once he gets caught, instead of accepting responsibility and does what he does, he plays the cooperation game so he could get back on the streets into his nefarious activities.What's really disturbing about Mr. Rodriguez and his previous history of cooperation is that for some reason or another, the judge doesn't want the jury to hear about it! Anyone have an angle on this? We'll discuss Mr. Rodriguez's cooperation further tomorrow.