Monday, November 17, 2014

Cohen v Cohen and Gerry Lefcourt

High profile lawyer Gerry Lefcourt, who represented  the Black Panthers in 1970,
is now representing Patricia Cohen in a post-divorce fraud lawsuit against Steven A Cohen.
Below is an image from the Panther trial dated October 27th 1970 by Richard Tomlinson


Below the drawing from today's hearing in front of Judge Loretta Preska by Elizabeth Williams

Story from today's hearing  by Patricia Hurtado at Bloomberg News
Link below

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-17/sac-capital-s-steve-cohen-loses-bid-to-toss-ex-wife-suit.html

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Southern District of New York launched a celebration of its 225th anniversary

Chief Judge Loretta Preska convenes the special session of the court to honor the 225th anniversary of the Southern District of NY, the oldest federal court in the country.

Friday, October 3, 2014

‘Real Housewives Of New Jersey’ Stars Face Sentencing For Fraud « CBS New York

‘Real Housewives Of New Jersey’ Stars Face Sentencing For Fraud « CBS New York

After a marathon all day sentencing hearing, the Joe and Teresa Giudice were sentenced to jail for their multimillion dollar fraud.

Wide shot of defense table with AUSA Jonathan Romankow speaking to Judge Salas

During the hearing, the only time time they wept was during the mention of Mr Giudice's father's death, when he found him dead in the family garden. That was what broke them up. Not the sentences that were levied upon the two of them.


Joe Giudice being sentenced to 41 months.

Giudices crying

Judge Esther Salas lambasting the Giudice's for not following the pre sentence orders to disclose all assets.


Prior to her sentencing, Teresa Giudice making statement before Judge Salas with her attorney Henry Klingman standing by her side
From TMZ
 Both Teresa and Joe were convicted of wire and bankruptcy fraud. According to the sentencing guidelines, Teresa should have received a sentences of 21 - 27 months.  Prosecutors recommended 21 -- saying if the judge wasn't hard it would show being famous counts.  Nonetheless the judge went way more lenient.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CNBC Business: Jersey Shore's 'The Situation' indicted on tax charges




CNBC News story link
http://www.cnbc.com/id/102029462
MTV's "Jersey Shore" star Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino and his brother were indicted Wednesday on charges of filing false tax returns involving $8.9 million income.


Michael was charged with two counts and his brother Marc with three counts of filing false tax returns for 2010 through 2012, according to the Department of Justice.  was also accused of failing to file a tax return for 2011.
"The brothers allegedly also claimed costly clothes and cars as business expenses and funneled company money into personal accounts," U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said. "The law is absolutely clear: Telling the truth to the IRS is not optional."
Michael Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino were arraigned in Newark Federal Court on charges that they did not properly pay taxes on $8.9 million in income Michael Sorrentino received from promotional activities.

Michael Sorrentino and his brother Marc Sorrentino are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Marc and Michael Sorrentino also are charged with three and two counts, respectively, of filing false tax returns for 2010 through 2012. Michael Sorrentino faces an additional count for allegedly failing to file a tax return for 2011. They are to be back in court in early October.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Courthouse News Service:Jury Nails Arab Bank for Helping Families Behind Terror Attacks

 American Lawyer: Global Lawyer Scenes from the Arab Bank trial


Arab Bank trial: Verdict
Courthouse News Service
by Nick Divito


     BROOKLYN,
N.Y. (CN) - The unprecedented civil trial of Arab Bank ended Monday
with a federal jury holding it liable for 24 Hamas-sponsored suicide
attacks in Israel.
     It has been six week since the trial kicked
off on the decade-old federal class action, filed by the families of 300
victims of two dozen separate Hamas-led suicide attacks in the West
Bank during the Second Intifada between 2000 and 2004.
     The jury deliberated all day Friday and came back with the verdict for U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan Monday afternoon.
     In ruling for the families, the jury soundly rejected the argument, as a defense attorney put it in closing arguments, that the bank has no obligation "to run around and figure out" who's on a terror backlist.
     "That's what the government does," Shand Stephens had told the jury. "And you wouldn't want it any other way."

 Tab Turner, who represents the families, countered that Arab Bank made $2 billion off terrorism in the year 2003 alone.
     He said it served as "'The Bank of the Stars' in the world of terrorism."
     "This
bank was the only bank making money off the terrorists," the attorney
said at closing arguments. "They're not interested in truth. They're
interested in protecting their pocket book. That is the power that you
have: to tell other banks, 'Don't you dare do business with these
people. You do, and you will pay.'
     "That's how we stop
terrorism. You don't stop it with bullets. You don't stop it with smart
bombs. How you stop them is you take the money away from them."
     Turner
had argued at the start of the trial that the bank turned a "blind eye"
when it provided banking services for known Hamas leaders. Arab Bank
served as "paymaster" when it made tens of millions of dollars in
payments - mostly in American cash and funded by the Saudi Committee -
to families of suicide attackers, the attorney argued.
     But
Stephens argued that the bank didn't know who it was paying because
their names did not appear on any U.S. or international blacklists. He
said Arab Bank heeded those lists and blocked transactions and froze
accounts whenever a match was made.
     Arab Bank is said to be the
financial institution to face a trial in the United States under the
Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows American victims of terrorist attacks
to seek compensation. Hamas was branded a terrorist group by the United
States in 1997.
     The verdict Monday came hours after the 2nd Circuit in Manhattan revived similar claims against another institution, National Westminster Bank.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Courthouse News Service: Closing Arguments Today in Arab Bank Trial


Story link Courthouse News Service  By NICK DIVITO

Closing Statements in Arab Bank Trial


   BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CN) - Arab Bank "did what it was required to do" and
isn't liable for 24 recent Hamas-sponsored suicide attacks in the West
Bank, a defense lawyer said Thursday during closing arguments in the
landmark jury trial.
     "The bank isn't supposed to run around and
figure out" who's on a backlist, attorney Shand Stephens told a jury in
U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan's high-rise courtroom. "That's what the
government does. And you wouldn't want it any other way."
     Stephens presented the bank's closing arguments after a six-week trial stemming
from a decade-old federal class action lawsuit filed by families of 300
victims of two dozen separate Hamas-led suicide attacks in the West Bank
during the Second Intifada between 2000 and 2004.

Plaintiff attorney Tad Turner gives closing statement, large photo of Sheikh Yassin lower right corner 

   Tab Turner, who represents the families, countered during his closing
this afternoon that Arab Bank served as "'The Bank of the Stars' in the
world of terrorism." He said it made $2 billion off terrorism in the
year 2003 alone.
     The jury should "step up to the plate and say not any more ... it stops right here in Brooklyn," Turner said.
     "This
bank was the only bank making money off the terrorists," the attorney
continued. "They're not interested in truth. They're interested in
protecting their pocket book. That is the power that you have: to tell
other banks, 'Don't you dare do business with these people. You do, and
you will pay.'


Plaintiff attorney Michael Elsner giving closing statement showing jury radical calendar approved and distributed by Arab Bank in Jordan, with diagram of payments by Arab Bank to families of suicide bombers.

 Note Mr Elsner quote from Reuters story below
“We all have a role to play, to prevent terrorism, every one of us,” said Michael Elsner of Motley Rice. “We are interlinked, interdependent. We need to be together to stop this. It just can’t be that we can only act when a government says, ‘You have to act now.’ It can’t be that we only do it when the computer gives us an alert.”
 

Why the Arab Bank terror-finance trial matters

By Alison Frankel
September 19, 2014
http://blogs.reuters.com/alison-frankel/2014/09/19/why-the-arab-bank-terror-finance-trial-matters/
From the Reuters story, link above

The four lawyers who spoke Thursday for the plaintiffs in the Arab Bank case assured them that it can – that the message they send with their verdict will force international banks to do more than check wire transfers against terrorism blacklists. If jurors find Arab Bank liable for processing about $73 million that allegedly propped up Hamas operations in the Second Intifada, the lawyers said, banks around the world will be on notice that they’re responsible for actively policing against financing terror.
“We all have a role to play, to prevent terrorism, every one of us,” said Michael Elsner of Motley Rice. “We are interlinked, interdependent. We need to be together to stop this. It just can’t be that we can only act when a government says, ‘You have to act now.’ It can’t be that we only do it when the computer gives us an alert.”





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

FORBES: New York Banks Also Handled Arab Bank's Alleged Terror Payments

New York Banks Also Handled Arab Bank's Alleged Terror Payments

 Forbes Staff

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2014/09/16/arab-banks-disputed-transfers-also-routed-through-new-york-banks/

Many of the money transfers at the heart of a precedent-setting lawsuit against Arab Bank over terrorist financing also passed through banks like Citibank, Bank of New York and JP Morgan Chase , the deputy manager of Arab Bank’s New York bank has testified. The evidence wasn’t offered to show complicity by the larger banks in financing terrorism, but to show that the global banking system is complex and relies on automated systems to check against questionable transactions.
Plaintiff Counsel Mark Werbner cross examining Palestinian Finance Minister Shukry Bishara 
Plaintiff attorneys led by Gary Osen and Mark Werbner are trying   to break new ground by holding a bank liable for causing terrorism by handling payments between killers and enabling organizations including Muslim charities. They have a substantial advantage in the fact that U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan has decided to enforce ruling by Judge Gina Gershon, who was later removed from the case, preventing Arab Bank from arguing its executives didn’t knowingly allow transfers to terrorists. Gershon imposed the sanction as punishment after the bank refused to turn over hundreds of thousands of customer records, citing bank-secrecy laws in its home country of Jordan. The plaintiffs argued that without the records, they couldn’t prove either way whether the bank was a knowing participant in terror finance.

Beverly Milton-Edwards is a professor in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queens's University in Belfast and is the co-author of "Hamas: The Islamic Resistance Movement on the stand , questioned by attorney Gary Osen
For Arab Bank, the case represents a test of whether the federal Anti Terrorism Act becomes a mechanism for strict liability, under which banks will be held financially accountable for the actions of their clients even if the bank complied with all applicable regulations. If that happens, banks could be in a similar position as pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers of inherently dangerous products, who are often found liable for damages caused by others like doctors misusing their products.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bloomberg News: Palestinian Official Testifies in Defense of Arab Bank


Bloomberg News

Palestinian Official Testifies in Defense of Arab Bank

September 11, 2014
Shukry Bishara, the Palestinian finance minister and a former executive at Arab Bank testifies at trial, questioned by Arab bank attorney Shand Stephens.
 
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-09-11/palestinian-official-testifies-in-defense-of-arab-bank

Shukry Bishara, the Palestinian finance minister and a former executive at Arab Bank Plc, told jurors at a U.S. trial that the bank made payments in the Palestinian territories to provide humanitarian relief, not compensate families of suicide bombers.
Bishara, the ex-chief banking officer for the Jordanian lender, testified today in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, in a case brought on behalf of about 300 U.S. citizens who were injured or killed in attacks in and near Israel, or were relatives of victims. The plaintiffs claim the bank helped Hamas by providing financial services and want to hold the institution responsible for the attacks.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ESPN: Ex-NFL players sought help in fixing settlement by Lester Munson

ESPN: Effort to alter concussion deal fails

by Lester Munson

http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/11503858/former-nfl-players-effort-alter-concussion-settlement-fails

The players hoped to persuade the judges of the high court to intervene in the settlement process that is plodding along in a lower court here. Led by former special teams player Sean Morey and attorney Steven Molo, the players wanted to look closely at some of the settlement terms. They were concerned that the agreement made no provision for any player who in the future may suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the most common affliction among former players and a potentially fatal condition. They also were unhappy with the provision of $122.5 million in fees to be paid to the lawyers ("class counsel") who engineered the settlement.

Steven Molo arguing in front of the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia, PA

Monday, September 8, 2014

Courthouse News Service: Mathew Martoma Gets Nine Years for Inside Trading

Martoma Gets Nine Years for Inside Trading

Courthouse News Service
By ADAM KLASFELD

 MANHATTAN (CN) - Neither the philanthropy, devoted fatherhood or
previously clean criminal record of former S.A.C. Capital executive
Mathew Martoma dissuaded a federal judge on Monday from sentencing him
to 9 years in prison, more time than prosecutors requested, for a $276
million inside-trading scheme involving an Alzheimer's drug.
     "I
cannot and will not ignore that the gain here is hundreds of millions
more than any previous insider trading case ever seen," U.S. District
Judge Paul Gardephe said in the ceremonial courtroom, which was filled
with reporters, lawyers and Martoma's supporters.
     Martoma, who
will head to federal prison in November, "cultivated corrupt
relationships" with two doctors over the course of two years, Gardephe
said.



Mathew Martoma seated during sentencing, flanked by his defense team


Judge Paul Gardephe
Mathew Martoma standing while being sentenced to 9 years in prison, wife and family seated behind him.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

The New York Times: Arab Bank's Lawyer Spars With Witness

The New York Times  

At Trial, Arab Bank’s Lawyer Spars With Witness 

Link: http://nyti.ms/1qimxXg

For three days, the former chief of the Israeli military’s Palestinian Affairs Department delivered important, if a bit dry, testimony in the terrorism financing trial of Arab Bank in Federal District Court in Brooklyn.
The witness, Arieh Spitzen, had highlighted bank records showing Arab Bank routing payments to people who, he said, were widely known to be terrorists or members of Hamas.
But during cross-examination on Thursday, the typically dull dissection of bank records became lively. Mr. Spitzen was tenacious, while Shand S. Stephens, a lawyer for Arab Bank, was aggressive — making them well-matched sparring partners.


Arab Bank lawyer Shand Stephens cross examining Arieh Spitzen, plaintiff's expert witness. Mr Stephens used the example of a ream of paper to highlight how many bank documents the Arab Bank had produced. By Elizabeth Williams                                  ( click on the image to see larger)
 The case is also noteworthy because Arab Bank did not turn over a huge number of bank records; it said that would have violated financial privacy laws in some of the countries.
To “restore the evidentiary balance,” a judge who had handled the case in 2010 ruled that the bank could not explain to the jury why it did not produce the requested records.
The bank’s refusal to turn over such records stymied investigative efforts by Mr. Spitzen, who at several points on the stand referred to his frustration.
But Mr. Stephens was able to get across the point that Arab Bank had produced many documents. He opened his cross-examination by noting that the 225,000 documents the bank had turned over would reach the height of a seven-story building. After Mr. Stephens asked if those calculations were correct, Mr. Spitzen deferred to Mr. Stephens, saying he trusted him.
“Well, you’re probably one of the few people in America that trusts lawyers,” Mr. Stephens said, to laughter from spectators.
Mr. Spitzen got his own laughs, when he pointed out that he had not printed all of these records and had examined them on a computer. “I’m not using that quantity of paper,” he said. “It’s not good for the environment.”

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Bloomberg News: Arab Bank Said at Trial to Have Sent $4 Million to Hamas

Arab Bank Said at Trial to Have Sent $4 Million to Hamas

Aug 29, 2014 12:01 AM ET
Arab Bank Plc maintained accounts for senior Hamas leaders, including former spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, a former Israeli military official testified in a U.S. trial over claims the bank helped finance suicide bombings carried out by the Palestinian militant group.
Arieh Spitzen, the former head of the Israeli military’s Department of Palestinian Affairs, told jurors yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that the bank transferred about $4 million from 2000 to 2001 to as many as two dozen Hamas leaders and operatives through its New York branch.
Terrorism expert Arieh Sptizen testifies in Brooklyn Federal Court on direct examination. Questioned by plaintiff's counsel Tab Turner ( click on image to see larger)
 The Jordanian bank, based in Amman and the country’s largest, is accused of facilitating 24 attacks in or near Israel from 2001 to 2004. The bank has argued it “had no intention of providing support to Hamas or any other known terrorist organization” and that it engaged in appropriate practices for screening transactions.
 Spitzen said that some of the Hamas leaders with accounts at the bank were “well known people” who “appeared in dozens of media outlets.” An account number for Yassin, who was killed in 2004, was also publicized by the media, he said.
The former military official testified as an expert on behalf of the plaintiffs, about 300 U.S. citizens who were victims of the attacks or were their relatives. Spitzen said the evidence of Arab Bank account holders he was able to review was limited because the bank refused to hand over much of the data.
The bank has argued that it couldn’t supply more comprehensive information without violating criminal laws of Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. A federal judge ruled that jurors can be told to infer from the bank’s failure to produce the information that it intentionally provided services to terrorist groups, giving plaintiffs a potential advantage in the trial.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Courthouse News Service: Arab Bank Trial, witness Ronni Shaked

Arab Bank Jurors Led Through Terror Plots
By NICK DIVITO
BROOKLYN (CN) - A terrorism expert at the Arab Bank trial gave disturbing details Tuesday of several Hamas-sponsored suicide attacks in the West Bank that killed 300 innocent civilians from 2000 to 2004.
     Jerusalem-based Ronni Shaked provided details in Hebrew through an interpreter about one such attack against hundreds of Holocaust Survivors who had gathered at the Park Hotel on March 27, 2002, in Netaniya, Israel, "to celebrate Passover with friends or with other people like them," he said.
Plaintiff Attorney Tab Turner questions terrorism expert Ronni Shaked ( via interpreters) in Brooklyn Federal Court.      


     A man carrying a purse and wearing high heels, women's clothes, a wig and makeup, walked in and detonated an "explosive belt," killing 30 and injuring 140. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack.
     Shaked detailed the various attacks during his second day of testimony as a witness for families representing 300 victims killed or injured in the suicide attacks during the Second Intifada (uprising) in the West Bank. The plaintiffs filed the action about a decade ago, claiming that the bank processed payments for families of suicide bombers and provided banking for known Hamas leaders.
     Shaked discussed how one woman - who became known as the "Mother of Martyrs" - "sent her 17-year-old son to die for a cause that she thought was important."
For more of this story link
Courthouse News Service