Tuesday, April 24, 2018

NBC: 'Smallville' actress Allison Mack freed to parents on $5 million bond

'Smallville' actress Allison Mack freed to parents on $5 million bond

A federal judge agreed on Tuesday to release "Smallville" actress Allison Mack to the custody of her parents in California, setting a $5 million bond.
Mack, 35, pleaded not guilty on Friday to recruiting women to join a secret organization, called Nxivm, that prosecutors say treated them as “slaves,” providing sexual and financial services for the group’s leaders. She is charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
Judge Viktor Pohorelsky of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn said Mack would be allowed to travel only for court appearances, attorney meetings and other approved reasons. She is prohibited from using cellular services or the internet while she is at her parents’ home, and will be electronically monitored.
Allison Mack during bail hearing, with her mother signing the 5 million dollar bond. 
In an undated statement posted by the group on its website, Nxivm denies the accusations.
“In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character,” read the statement. “We strongly believe the justice system will prevail in bringing the truth to light.”
Some of Mack's old tweets from 2013 and 2016 show her attempts to contact and potentially even recruit celebrities like actress Emma Watson and singer Kelly Clarkson into Nxivm.

Friday, April 20, 2018

LA TIMES: In recorded jail call, Robert Durst tells friend he regrets doing 'The Jinx'

Robert Durst tells friend he regrets doing 'The Jinx'

Artwork by Bill Robles
Robert Durst listening to recordings at pre trial hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court. In a jail call recorded in 2015, Robert Durst told a friend he regretted giving interviews to the producers of  " The Jinx" saying he realized while watching the siz part HBO documentary that he "definitely had a problem"

The New York real estate scion was arrested in connection with the slaying of his best friend Susan Berman on March 14, 2015 — the day before the finale of "The Jinx," which focuses on his tangled life.
Prosecutors have said they feared Durst, who was arrested at a New Orleans hotel in possession of guns, cash, a fake ID and a mask, might flee after realizing the "damning evidence" in the documentary.
Prosecutors contend Berman, whose body was found on Christmas Eve in 2000, was killed to prevent her from providing incriminating information about Durst's involvement in the 1982 disappearance of his wife, Kathleen, a case that remains unsolved. Durst, 75, has denied killing either woman.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

NEWSDAY Power on Trial: Sinnreich spars with Keating

By Joye Brownjoye.brown@newsday.com

Nobody asked

Jonathan Sinnreich, Oyster Bay’s outside legal counsel, and Kevin Keating, defense attorney for Edward Mangano, Nassau’s former county executive, spent much of Thursday morning engaged in a verbal tennis match.
Jonathan Sinnreich, Oyster Bay’s outside legal counsel, and Kevin Keating, defense attorney for Edward Mangano, Nassau’s former county executive, spent much of Thursday morning engaged in a verbal tennis match

Keating would ask whether Sinnreich agreed with the defense attorney’s characterization of — well, just about anything.
And Sinnreich would fire back, mostly with “no,” along with a detailed explanation of why Keating’s characterization of discussion during an April 28, 2010, meeting — how construction loans are structured, what he said or did not say to a grand jury or to federal investigations and on and on and on — was wrong.
At least twice, Sinnreich also disagreed with how his statements to federal prosecutors were stated in FBI notes.
At one point during the trial of Mangano, his wife, Linda, and former Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto, Keating pressed Sinnreich on whether he mentioned in grand jury testimony that Mangano placed a hand on Singh’s shoulder during the 2010 meeting in the campaign headquarters of John Venditto, then-Oyster Bay’s town supervisor.
“I don’t think so, but I wasn’t asked a question that would have elicited that response,” Sinnreich replied.
Under cross-examination by Marc Agnifilo, Venditto’s lawyer, Sinnreich had high praise for Venditto.

Smart man

Under cross-examination by Marc Agnifilo, Venditto’s lawyer, Sinnreich had high praise for Venditto.
“He is a very smart lawyer and a very smart man,” Sinnreich testified, noting that he has worked as the town’s outside legal counsel — and thus, with Venditto — for more than a decade.
Venditto, whose seat at the defense table is closest to the witness stand, didn’t react to the comments.
A few minutes later, Agnifilo asked about Frederick Mei, the town’s former deputy town attorney.
“I always experienced Mr. Mei as solicitous of Mr. Singh’s issues,” Sinnreich testified.
Earlier, Mei testified that he received numerous bribes from Singh over the years, including cash payments, trips and the cost of a lease on a BMW.
On redirect examination from Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine M. Mirabile, Sinnreich, was asked whether Mei — as the town asserted early on after the Singh scandal broke — was a “rogue” employee.
“Oh, absolutely not,” Sinnreich replied.

Billing practice

At one point, Sinnreich testified, he was asked to put a Rivkin Radler legal bill on work related to the Singh loans through his law firm.
Sinnreich said he did so, as he has in the past for other professional services related to projects he worked on for the town. “They wanted me to do it, I did it,” he testified.
There is nothing illegal about such “pass through billing,” as it’s called.
And the mechanism often is used to speed payment. Still, it also makes seeking a formal town board action on the payment unnecessary, Mirabile pointed out.
“Correct,” Sinnreich answered.
The method also makes the bill unavailable to the public, Mirable went on.
Sinnreich disagreed.
“Bills go to the town comptroller,” he said. “I think it is available by the Freedom of Information Law.”
But the town’s record on complying with the law hasn’t been pristine, either. In 2016 Newsday sued and won to get access to documents covered by FOIL.
A New York State judge ordered Oyster Bay to provide materials, including records related to Singh’s concession agreements with the town, that Newsday had requested under FOIL in 2014.

Just say yes

Sinnreich, under questioning by Mirabile, testified that he was pretty much out of continued discussions about how to have the town legally back loans for former restaurateur Harendra Singh — after he continued to oppose many proposed iterations of a deal.
During an April 28, 2010, meeting, Sinnreich testified, he laid out his concerns and had some back and forth with William Cornachio and William Savino, attorneys for Rivkin Radler, Edward Mangano’s former law firm.
By May, he testified, he was out of the loop.
“It had become obvious to me through the town’s silence that the town was looking for Rivkin Radler to say yes to the dress,” he told jurors Thursday.
He said he did not learn until much later that the town had amended Singh’s concessions to help him get loans.

Lawyer needed

Sinnreich testified that in 2015 Leonard Genova came to him after federal agents visited the then-town attorney’s home.
Genova, Sinnreich, testified, was upset.
And, he said, that Genova, who had just lost his wife to cancer and has two young children, asked the agents to return later.
He told Sinnreich that the agents had agreed to do so.
“I asked him if he had a lawyer,” Sinnreich testified. “I told Mr. Genova that he needed his own lawyer, that I couldn’t do it because I am not a criminal attorney.”
“I also told him the supe ought to have criminal lawyers,” Sinnreich testified, referring to Venditto

AP :Trump lawyer forced to reveal another client: Sean Hannity

Trump lawyer forced to reveal another client: Sean Hannity

A legal fight over what should happen to records the FBI seized from President Donald Trump's personal attorney took a surprise twist Monday when the lawyer, Michael Cohen, was forced to reveal in court that he had also secretly done legal work for Fox News host Sean Hannity.
The disclosure came as Cohen's attorneys tried to persuade a federal judge in New York to delay prosecutors from examining records and electronic devices seized in the raids on the grounds that many of them are protected by attorney-client privilege.
U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said in hearings Friday and again on Monday that if Cohen wanted the court to declare that the some of his files were protected because of attorney confidentiality rules, he would have to divulge the names of his clients.

In a court filing Monday, Cohen's attorneys said three people received legal help from Cohen in 2017 and 2018, after Trump became president.
One was Trump himself. Another was Elliot Broidy, a Trump fundraiser who resigned from the Republican National Committee on Friday after it was revealed that he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy Playmate with whom he had an extramarital affair. The Playmate became pregnant and elected to have an abortion.
But they initially declined to reveal the name of the third client.
The third legal client directed Mr. Cohen not to reveal the identity publicly, Cohen's lawyers, Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan, wrote....
Stephen Ryan, Michael Cohen's attorney disclosing Sean Hannity's name after Judge Wood demands he reveal the name. Stormy Daniels seated in the audience .
Artwork by Elizabeth Williams 

 "It almost goes without saying, unfortunately, that none of Mr. Cohen's clients want to be associated with the government raid on his home and law office, or want to be affiliated in any way with the proceedings here and the attendant media coverage."
Wood, though, demanded the name.
"I understand he doesn't want his name out there, but that's not enough under the law," she said.
An email sent to Fox News seeking comment from Hannity was not immediately returned.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

CNBC: Trump lawyer Michael Cohen appears in court with porn star Stormy Daniels watching

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen appears in court with porn star Stormy Daniels watching 

Dan Mangan

  • President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen appeared in federal court Monday on a request to protect files of his seized by the FBI.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, attended the Monday hearing alongside Michael Avenatti, her lawyer in a pending suit against Trump and Cohen seeking to void her hush deal. Michael Cohen seated at table next to his attorney . Artwork by Elizabeth Williams
  • Porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump, also attended the hearing.
  • Trump has raged about the raids on Cohen's files, in which FBI agents seized documents related to a payout to Daniels in exchange for her silence about the purported affair.

Michael Cohen, longtime personal attorney for President Donald Trump, on Monday showed up at U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan after skipping an initial Friday hearing.
Cohen is asking Judge Kimba Wood to bar prosecutors from getting the first look at client files seized from him by the FBI last week. A lawyer for the president, Joanna Hendon, on Sunday filed a motion asking the judge to grant the president the privilege of reviewing the documents first.
The hearings follow the April 9 raids, in which federal agents seized materials from Cohen's office, home, hotel room and electronic devices.
Both Cohen and Trump argue that they should be allowed to decide which of the documents should be permanently withheld because they are protected by attorney-client privilege.
U.S. attorneys pushed back against Cohen's request in a filing Friday, saying that "Cohen is in fact performing little to no legal work," and alleging that "zero" emails were exchanged between Cohen and Trump. Their assessment was based on already conducted searches of Cohen's email accounts which had not been reported before the court filing.
In a Monday court filing, lawyers for Cohen said that he represented three clients between 2017 and 2018, but refused to identify one of them. The anonymous client had told Cohen not to disclose his name, his lawyers said, partly because it would likely "be embarrassing or detrimental" to him.

 The other two clients are Trump and Elliott Broidy, a former deputy finance chairman for the Republican National Committee who resigned following reports that he had impregnated a Playboy model in an extramarital affair.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, attended the Monday hearing alongside Michael Avenatti, her lawyer in a pending suit against Trump and Cohen seeking to void her hush deal.

Investigators also searched for documents relating to the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape in which Trump boasts about sexual harassment, as well as communications between Trump and Cohen about the tape.
And the agents reportedly sought documents in Cohen's possession related to payments made to another woman who claims she had an affair with Trump: Playboy model Karen McDougal.