Thursday, September 8, 2011

Defendant in the Plantation Cops mortgage fraud case asks for a mistrial! And it looks like a certain Regalado has opened up a new office.


It looks like federally indicted attorney Steven Stoll's defense team hasn't been sleeping much lately.  Just last Monday they filed this excellent motion to dismiss, take a look for yourselves...

Motion to Dismiss by Steven Stoll Based on Lender Negligence                                                                                                   

How ironic?  The prosecution fought successfully to have even the slightest hint of lender negligence withheld from the jury, all the while not mentioning to anyone that since July 2011 the very same government that was fighting so hard to exclude lender negligence from the jury was investigating the very same lenders for “potential fraud related to the origination and/or underwriting of mortgage loans”.  How do you like them apples?!  What have we been saying all along about the banks being the unindicted co-conspirators in these mortgage frauds?! 

It's not bad enough that the government fought to exclude this lender negligence/misconduct from the jury, but by withholding the information regarding the investigation from the defense, they've actually broken the law.  Anyone remember us talking about Brady violations a while back?  Let's take a look at some components of the Brady Rule...

  1. Duty to Disclose: The landmark decision of Brady v Maryland (1963) places an affirmative constitutional duty on a prosecutor to disclose exculpatory evidence to a defendant. This duty has been extended to police agencies through case law, requiring law enforcement agencies to notify the prosecutor of any potential exculpatory information.
  2. Exculpatory Evidence/Brady Material: Evidence in the government’s possession that is favorable to the accused and that is material to either guilt or punishment, including evidence that may impact the credibility of a witness.
The defense team had argued from the get go that the lenders negligence was key to their defense, yet the government didn't want the jury to hear a peep about it, considering the fact that the federal government had an ongoing investigation into the very lenders in question for their conduct and role in the real estate and economic meltdown, didn't the government have a "duty to disclose" this information to the defense let alone the jury?  Even worse, Steven Stoll's attorneys specifically asked for information relating to any government investigation concerning these lenders back in the summer of 2010...
More specifically, by way of letter on August 20, 2010 (a copy of which is attached as Exhibit 3), Mr. Stoll’s counsel specifically demanded disclosure of “[a]ny criminal complaint and/or investigation to any state or federal investigative agency or any civil complaint or administrative action, relating to any lender involved in or associated with any defendant and/or the 68 loan transactions, as well as any civil litigation relating to these lenders.”
The government comes back with...
“[t]he government has no information or documents that are responsive to Defendant’s request #8 concerning criminal and civil complaints and investigations against lenders involved with the 68 fraudulently acquired properties, or associated with any defendant.”
No kidding?  So these massive lawsuits being filed by our government against these lenders recently just appeared out of thin air?  The complaints were just thrown together overnight?  If the Plantation cops mortgage fraud case took nearly 5 years to put together, how the hell are we supposed to believe that the government hadn't done any investigating into their case against the lenders as late as last summer?  BULLSHIT!  Again, from the motion...
Although the Government has acknowledged the continuing nature of its Brady obligations to Mr. Stoll, no disclosure of the Department of Justice investigations or the damning allegations against the lenders regarding their failure to follow underwriting practices was provided to the defense by the prosecution in this case.
Why would the defense expect the prosecutors to hand over exculpatory evidence that could destroy their headline case?  It's not like they're bound to do so by law or anything!  Again from the motion...
To add insult to injury, the Government has actively resisted, and for all intents and purposes, has succeeded in thwarting the defendants’ attempts to introduce evidence of lenders’ willful failure to follow the underwriting guidelines, their financial incentive for doing so, and the resulting impact upon the reliability of the “lender files” in evidence. The Government did so under the guise that there was no evidence that these lenders were engaged in these practices. However, as demonstrated in the 17 complaints recently filed by the Government, as well as existence of one or more Department of Justice investigations into the underwriting practices of these lenders, the Government has taken a diametrically opposed position regarding these lenders elsewhere.
As the record stands, the jury in this case has been deprived of substantial favorable evidence to the defense regarding the lenders’ actions, intent, motive, and the lack of materiality of the statements and alleged omissions in dispute in this case.
Moreover, the Government, in a disingenuous substitute for testimony from lender representatives with actual knowledge of the underwriting and approval of the loans in this case, has presented testimony from former lender employees and purported expert witnesses with no personal knowledge about these loans to testify that the lenders did actually follow underwriting guidelines, and to testify that the statements and alleged omissions in dispute in this case were material to the lenders’ decisions to approve these loans.
In addition to being deprived of the favorable evidence regarding the failure of lenders to follow underwriting guidelines, the Government’s failure to disclose the existence of the investigation(s) of the lenders by the Department of Justice also deprived the defense of the ability to impeach the credibility of the “lender files” being relied upon by the Government, as well as the potential motive and bias of the lender representatives called by the Government as witnesses in this case.
Each of the lender witnesses, having been employed by lenders during a time period when according to the recently filed Complaints they were engaged in massive frauds on government agencies and others purchasing mortgage backed securities, had an undisclosed and unexplored motive to color their testimony so as to minimize their own potential culpability and involvement in the fraud. These witnesses had a similar motive to minimize the culpability of their former lender employers.
Further, if the Government had informed the defendants of the investigation of the lenders, and the fact that the lenders had a financial motive to conceal their failure to follow underwriting guidelines within their own files, the defense would have had the ability to impeach the credibility of the lender files produced in this case, and would have been able to present a compelling explanation for the absence of certain documents (such as conversation logs, escrow agreements, emails, etc.) from the lender files.
The Government, on the other hand, in taking full and unfair advantage of the lenders’ purging of files, has been pointing to the lack of such documents in the files as evidence that the lenders were never aware of the escrow withholds and sourcing of deposits from the third parties.

Accordingly, the Government’s Brady violation has impacted this case in multiple, varied and profound ways to the detriment of Mr. Stoll.
Defendant Stoll's attorneys killed it.  Great job.  The question now is what's the judge going to do?  Will he do the right thing and throw this case out or is he going to cover the governments ass?

In other news, it looks like or least favorite attorney, Raquel Regalado, daughter of embattled city of Miami mayor, Tomas Regalado, has opened up a new law office.  From the Florida department of state's website...

It looks like the Mayor's daughter has opened up a new law office, whose principal place of business is located at 1745 SW 15 st which is located in the city of Miami and just happens to be her home address as well.  So from what we're to deduce from the filings with the state, is Ms. Regalado going to run a law office from her home?  Deja vu anyone?  More importantly though, what happened to Ms. Regalado's gig over at the prestigious IP law firm, Malloy & Malloy?  Is it possible that all the Regalado monkey business of late was a bit much for the well established and conservative principals of the law firm?  Who would want an attorney practicing within their firm with the air of possible pending criminal charges surrounding them?  A quick search of the firms website reveals the conspicuous absence of Ms. Regalado from the firms attorney page, I wonder what happened?

1 comment:

  1. Does she have a certificate of use to operate her business from the home address?