Monday, November 7, 2011

Another bizarre twist in the Plantation cops mortgage fraud saga...

Just when you think things have quieted down after the second Plantation cops trial ended with a mistrial, we get another bizarre twist in the story.  One can only imagine how much  money the defendants must have spent throughout the course of the investigation and subsequent trials that resulted from the nearly five year long "Operation Copout" investigation that ended with the two trials that took up the better part of this past year.  As we all know, the first trial ended with four out of the six defendants getting acquitted and the second trial ended with a mistrial.  Midway through the second trial, defendant Joe Guaracino, the man that the government alleges was the mastermind behind the $16 million dollars or so worth of real estate transactions that are the subject of the governments case told the court that he had run out of money and could no longer afford to pay his legal expenses.  That seems reasonable enough, after all, Mr. Guaracino was heavily invested in the real estate market that has since turned sour, by his own admission, everything he owns is "underwater" plus how could one be expected to earn a reasonable living let alone pay a fortune in legal bills while under indictment and out on bail?  

No worries, according to our nation's Criminal Justice Act (18 U.S.C. § 3006) the government has people charged with a crime who can't afford adequate legal representation covered...
Each United States district court, with the approval of the judicial council of the circuit, shall place in operation throughout the district a plan for furnishing representation for any person financially unable to obtain adequate representation in accordance with this section. Representation under each plan shall include counsel and investigative, expert, and other services necessary for adequate representation.
Cool.  Midway through the second trial the court concluded through a special hearing that Mr. Guaracino no longer had the funds to pay for his legal bills and entered an order allowing the government to pay his lawyers, expert witnesses, etc.  No worries.  That was all about to change after the second case ended in a mistrial.  I got the feeling that after the government announced that it wasn't going to retry the other two remaining defendants from the second trial, attorney Steven Stoll and Joe's brother Dennis Guaracino, that the prosecutors were going to do just about anything they could to nail Joe Guaracino.  

With that in mind, the prosecutors filed a motion to get the government to stop funding Joe's defense...

Joe Guaracino government Memorandum on Eligibility of CJA Counsel

Interesting to say the least, the government alleges that Mr. Guaracino was somewhat less than honest about how much money he had on hand and how much he was actually making when he claimed that he could not afford to cover his legal expenses.  I can't say that I was surprised considering everything else that's gone on in this case when the Judge ruled in the governments favor...

Reconsideration of joe Guaracino Eligibility for Cja Counsel

As if all of that wasn't bad enough, take a look at this bit...

Not only is the judge not going to let the government pay for Mr. Guaracino's legal bills but he's making Guaracino repay all the money the government has paid on his behalf to date!

That's unreal.  Am I the only one getting the feeling that the government is going to do anything and everything they can to make sure they nail Guaracino?  Forget about questionable rulings like we've seen in the past, now that the guy can't pay for his own defense and the government won't foot the bill, how is he supposed to defend himself? 


  1. Guess he should have been a real crook like Matt and Rene and stole millions and not put back money into those houses or paid back the banks. That way he could afford a big time attorney. Sad to say but in our federal court system today money is the only thing that can buy someone justice. And since the government can spend 150k on 1 witness and 140k on another rebuttal witness guess it shows who has the money. The government has show in this case and many others they will stop at nothing even when they are wrong to look like they are right. They have shown they can’t win this case in a fair fight in court in front of 12 jury members so try to win outside the jury anyway you can. But this has to be a new low blow for them. When has the government ever complained to a judge take away his lawyer so we can win. We can’t get a conviction in front of the jury so take away his lawyer and we should be able to win then. We the government have spent way too much money and time to lose this case a 3rd time in court. Are the three attorneys that bad for the government that they can’t beat a court appointed attorney or is it that their case is so weak the only way to win is by doing everything they can, other then get a conviction in front of a jury.

  2. So according to that info all this was shown to the jury during his trail and they still couldn’t convict him. What’s that say about the government’s case? Wow wish the government spent as much effort, money, and time to stop real victim crimes as they do this one. This Joe guy must be a real KINGPIN in south Florida for the government to want him this bad.

  3. The reason Joe never has money is because he always spends it on anything he wants, anytime. He is not a saver, he is a spender. Spends money faster than he makes it. So, he spent what he could on the attorney and spent his "fun" money on anything he wanted, anytime. No such thing as a savings account for him.

  4. Corruption an politics. The gig is up Mr. AUSA supervisor we all know who you are and what your connection is now your malicious interest in this case and unjustified push will come to haunt you in the near future. Tell your buddy he made a big mistake.

    As for Joe good luck brother, it's a disgusting system isn't it?!

  5. Looks like Joe is fucked.

  6. Wow Joseph claimed to only have $400 dollars, then he spends lavishly and does not disclose over $200,000 deposits. Good work Stawbuyer, thanks for this update.

    Why not have a dinner "Dancing for Joe" and everyone can send their donations to Joe to help pay for his lawyer expense. I will dance to that.

  7. I knew Joe well once....but after years of seeing him lie and cheat EVERYONE, friend no more. I feel for his wife and kids that will have to go on without a steady paycheck. Hes the typical egomanaic who believes his own lies. Sad day for all involved, but necessary to teach Joe that he is not above the law. Stand a man...accept your wrongdoings and move on...43 months from now. Pay back the govt and pay back attorney fees for your friends you dragged into this.