Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lying to a Grand Jury is OK and our friend Al Crespo unearths even more corruption in the City of Miami...

Back in late May we discovered disturbing inaccuracies in the grand jury testimony that eventually led to the Plantation Cops mortgage fraud indictment.  From what we were able to find, the government misrepresented several important facts to the grand jury which made an already bad situation for the defendants even worse by including incorrect inflammatory statements like these...
With respect to this particular Indictment, we’re talking about the first count, which is a conspiracy count. It’s a conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and filing of false statement with a Government agency, the Department of Housing & Urban Development.

Counts 2 through 12 are the mail fraud counts.  Counts 13 through 25 are the wire fraud counts.  Counts 26 through 33 are the 1001 counts, which is the filing of a false statement with a federal agency.

Q. And the department or agency to which the HUD-1 is submitted is the Department of Housing & Urban Development?

A. Yes.
We now know that these statements were false and misleading, the paperwork in question is in fact not submitted to the Department of Housing and Urban Development or any other federal agency.  The government responded to the defenses motion to dismiss these charges by basically saying fuck it, let the jury decide...
II. ANY PURPORTED ERROR IS RENDERED HARMLESS BY THE PETIT JURY  Any purported errors claimed by the Defendant are rendered harmless if the petit jury convicts the defendant. See United States v. Mechanik, 475 U.S. 66, 72-73 (1986).  Based on the aforementioned argument and facts, the counts in the Indictment should stand and the defendant can be tried on the merits. "An indictment returned by a legally constituted and unbiased grand jury, . . . if valid on its face, is enough to call for trial of the charge on the merits." Costello, 350 U.S. at 363.

I was really hoping that Judge Cohn would recognize how serious these "errors" were and would then dismiss the charges in question.  Wishful thinking I guess... 

Steven Stoll Joe Guaracino Motion to Dismiss Denied

According to the judge the defendants "suffered no prejudice from the United States’ alleged misconduct and his constitutional protections were not jeopardized."  Wonderful, I'm sure the defendants feel the same way.

Now, back to the City of Miami mess for a moment, our friend Al Crepso broke another story yesterday regarding an alleged bribe that Mayor Regalado offered to embattled police chief Miguel Exposito to resign.  According to Mr. Crespo, Regalado offered the Chief $400k to leave, an offer the chief turned down because according to the chief "they couldn’t buy me or my reputation".  That's all well and good, but for those who've been paying attention to the rumors surrounding the feud between the mayor and police chief, this $400k buyout thing isn't exactly anything new.  Rumors of this alleged buyout have been circulating since early January 2011, from what we've heard the chief turned down the buyout because it would have created too much of a tax liability for him.  Regardless of the tax liability or when this "buyout" actually became public knowledge, the question that we're left with is how the hell did the mayor unilaterally decide to give the Chief this offer?  Doesn't something like this (especially of this magnitude) require the a vote by the commissioners?  Worse still, with the city tetering on the verge of bankruptcy, how can they afford to keep giving away massive severance packages like this?  How many murals and led billboards does the city have to put up in order to generate $400K?

The city is on fire folks, the mayor and the police chief publicly feuding, city buildings becoming public billboards, employees showing up part time and taking home over $300k per year, etc.  It's going to be interesting to see what's left when this is all over.


  1. Strawbuyer, is there any one over the judge, that can make him see the light !!! it just seems so one sided to me-just saying

  2. Wow-they don't stand a chance-not with this judge-and I was told he was a fair and just Judge

  3. suffered no prejustice-what about the 2 that were found guilty in the first trial?
    how do you think they feel?

  4. Reference; City of Miami,
    I don't know how many billboards it would take to make $400K, eventually (and I think the time is nigh) the chickens will come home to roost. But, unlike the federal government, the city cannot just print more money. On second thought, with these fancy new color printers...hmmm, maybe there is a way out of this financial mess.

  5. I heard that the reason the Chief did not come forward with this in January was because he wanted the City to guarantee the $400,000 payout would be free of taxes. The City could not agree to the Chief's counteroffer.