Thursday, January 31, 2013

Brainwashing: A Whodunnit

I have decided that Carolyn Velez did not commit perjury in trial testimony. Paul Bergrin continued his cross-examination of Carolyn today and while I was not present in the courtroom to hear her statements and no one has briefed me on the content, I did read a few sentences in a article. Suddenly I realized what has transpired with this young woman over the years since her father's trial (Norberto Velez).

Call it past experience with a parent that alienated her children from their father or call it my intuition - it doesn't matter. Carolyn made a taped confession for Essex County prosecutors shortly after her father's trial back in 2001. It is my understanding that she testified favorably concerning her father's character and negatively in relation to her mother's acts towards both her and her father in trial. Following trial, her mother convinced her to make this confession of sorts to a prosecutor on tape. This tape is what federal prosecutors are trying to use against Paul.

In my opinion, Carolyn has suffered a decade of abuse from her mother. Between mom and other relatives, they've pounded it into her head on a regular basis, perhaps even daily, as to how horrible dad was and is. Her mother convinced her to testify against Paul Bergrin in this trial to stroke an eleven year grudge against the ex-husband and the attorney that had the audacity to defend him.

Now I do not claim to know what led to the stabbing of Marilu Carmona so long ago. I only know what I have heard from others that were familiar with the case and what I see based on experience with a friend of past that alienated her children from their father. My former friend did all sorts of wild crap in attempts to have her ex jailed. She also dodged any scheduled visitation, hung-up on him if he called to speak to his children, and became seriously angry with the children if they dared to ask about dad. She pounded their minds with lies daily about how bad dad was. Well, Dad moved to a different state and managed to get custody with the stated reason being "parental alienation".

As I originally stated, I view Marilu as one bad-ass drama queen. No one ever invites a stabbing, though the defense her ex had was that she came there to stab him. I can certainly believe that. The woman is rabidly hateful to Paul Bergrin and she has turned her daughter into the same.

Let's face it - there is absolutely no way that a nine year-old could recall such specific and vivid details as Carolyn claimed to on the stand today. Her encounters with Paul were somewhat brief, not personal, and eleven years ago. There is not a chance that anything she said is an actual memory. Ask a psychiatrist - don't believe me. 

Between Marilu Carmona and this Essex County prosecutor, they actually have this poor young woman believing that this is all her memory. John Gay chimed-in and coached his witnesses on his anti-Paul crusade and here we are. I said it before - this is really sick.

Both mother and daughter should be required to have sessions with a psychiatrist and then a report should be made to the court from the psychiatrist - an actual expert. Instead we have John Gay playing pretend expert and psychiatrist and diagnosing this woman for the judge and the jurors. The worst part is that none of this is relevant to Paul's charges anyway.

Yes, I buy that she was brainwashed; however, the guilty party is not Paul Bergrin. What has been done to this woman for an entire decade+ is criminal.

Judge Cavanaugh should never have allowed these so-called witnesses to be called by prosecutors - never! This is mistrial material, in my humble non-lawyer opinion. It cannot be ignored or brushed under a rug. There is no actual crime that is connected to the testimony of this mother and daughter and if there were, it would have been charged 10+ years ago as Essex County prosecutors have had the tape for that long.

I see another mistrial in Paul Bergrin's future.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Paul Bergrin is a Whistleblower

While searching in Yahoo! yesterday, I came across this excellent article:


The article was written by Barry Sussman. I still do not see the article indexed in Google, but perhaps in a day or two I will. Mr. Sussman has all of his facts straight and offers what I will term a 'big picture analysis and perspective' of the prosecution and trials of Paul Bergrin. I, on the other hand, offer 'in your face now' or 'what happened today' type of commentary.

Barry Sussman approaches the current case with the background account and facts. He answers the question, Why Paul Bergrin? This is something that I have never approached, though my reasoning is certainly not disbelief or disrespect, and in fact, I agree with everything stated. I discuss the witnesses and motivations for testimony more than anything else. I'm not fond of informants or people that choose to lie on the stand and they become my blogging targets.

The informants and the so-called witnesses that are testifying for prosecutors are so entrenched in their own messy lives that it's unlikely any know a thing about Abu Ghraib beyond what FoxNews tells them. I'd be shocked if any one of them ever heard of Operation Iron Triangle. Even the agents involved in this case are motivated by the desire to cover-up their own blundering in the Kemo Deshawn McCray murder and are not a part of any big picture. They're all tools in a toolbox and nothing more.

But what of the various whistleblower and veteran organizations that support Brad Manning and/or Julian Assange? They have no excuse as far as I am concerned. Paul fought for soldiers that were jammed by the war party agenda. Okay, I'll tell you...

At a friend's urging, I sent letters to several of these whistleblower support operations some time ago and not one had the decency to respond. Yeah, I was ticked-off, but I still support Brad Manning as should be evident by the banner on my other blog and I am still anti-war, of course. However, I do not support the organizations anymore - as of today.

If you read Barry Sussman's article, you will get the big picture. If you claim to support whistleblowers, yet justify ignoring Paul Bergrin's persecution, you have lost all credibility in my eyes. As a matter of fact, I'm about to go 'unlike' the lot of you in my Facebook account. Why? Because you only care about your own isolated agenda and the suffering man in the big picture is too easily dismissed by every one of you.

If I have shamed you into having a look - good, but if you didn't bother - adios.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week 1 Summary and Thoughts

There was an interesting new strategy revealed by prosecutors this past week. The government decided that having only agents and convicted criminals testify was not good enough so they dragged-up an 11 year-old case in which Paul represented a defendant in trial and the angry losers have now come back to haunt him as so-called witnesses in this case. It's not working, but John Gay will get that in short time, if he doesn't already.

We heard from Lachoy Walker, the now paid criminal informant that is a witness from the Kemo Deshawn McCray murder case. While Mr. Walker may have had valuable information in relation to Kemo's murder, he has no firsthand knowledge of Paul Bergrin at all. He says he knows that Hakeem Curry told him that he "got his connect" from Paul and while Curry may have stated that, it doesn't make it true. As a rule, a person at the top of a drug gang is not going to offer any real information about his connections to his underlings.

I was tough on Walker because I do not like informants. Perhaps I should cut him some slack - he got caught-up in an old game that agents play in order to save himself from life in prison and is as much a victim as anyone else in this Drug War story. It's the law of the jungle to save yourself first and that's what he did, but he did not create that jungle. Walker chose drug dealing instead of poverty and when that failed, chose to place himself first. I'm sorry that I was so hard on you Mr. Walker and I know you need that money the feds pay you these days. I hope you finish college and continue on to graduate school.

Marilu Carmona is the victim from the 11 year-old case that testified for the government. I was critical of Marilu, but the truth is that I feel sorry for her and just think that her harboring these angry feelings towards her husband's former attorney is on the ridiculous side. Be mad at the ex Marilu; don't blame the attorney that defended him. You have, with John Gay's help, opened-up an old wound, but your husband was entitled to a defense. Every defendant is entitled to representation by a competent attorney.

The fact is that no jury is going to base their decision on the testimony of a nine year-old alone Marilu; it just doesn't happen. If someone were to question those jurors today, I'd bet there were numerous reasons for acquitting the ex (Norberto Velez) and your daughter's testimony was only one of them. I feel that someone goaded Marilu into this current fiasco; perhaps someone at the Essex County prosecutor's office that lost the case and is still holding a grudge 11 years later. Paul Bergrin has enemies, no doubt.

There are questions that I would ask Marilu:

1. Did a psychiatrist diagnose your daughter as being "brainwashed" prior to her testimony in the original case or did the party that pushed you into this case first use that term to describe her condition?

2. Did you make a complaint with the NJ Bar Association after that trial? If not, why not? The issue could have been investigated when it was still possible to make such a determination.

3. Did you file a civil suit against Paul Bergrin following the original trial? If not, why not?

4. Have you said or done anything to convince your daughter to testify in this case?

5. Has a psychiatrist determined recently that your daughter was "brainwashed" 11 years ago? What specific type of therapy did your daughter have that resulted in her stating that she remembers all of these events from when she was nine years-old? (i.e. False memory syndrome)

6. Is your daughter now estranged from her father and if yes, is this something that happened recently?

Those are just some of the questions that I would expect Marilu to answer and I would dive deeply into past events. To me it is clear that someone pushed her into this and she really has no clue what she has opened-up. I will save the questions for her daughter Carolyn until she testifies.

There was a doctor that testified as to Marilu's condition when she was brought to the ER. Since that is about as relevant as the price of tea in China, I'll pass on discussing it. It is only relevant if the entire case is to be gutted in this current trial.

A detective testified and an agent did as well. Both are related to the Kemo murder case. The truth about all of that is that the feds refused Kemo when he came to them and begged to enter the witness protection program. No amount of twists in the storyline can change that fact. They used, abused, and failed their own informant and now he is dead and has been since 2004. It was not the first failure of the informant system and it will not be the last.

I do hope that Judge Cavanaugh exerts his authority over prosecutors here and shows us his no-nonsense and facts only side in this trial. The truth is that if this 11 year-old case in which Paul Bergrin defended and won an acquittal is open for discussion, then it is all relevant on cross-examination as well. Either the case is relevant or it's not, but it cannot be a one-sided presentation not open to questions - that is not how trials work. In my opinion, none of it is relevant, but it is up to the judge to inform prosecutors of that fact.

I will withhold points at this time and see what happens early in the coming week.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Have a Problem Blame Paul

If we are to believe AUSA Gay, all of Newark's problems are Paul Bergrin's fault. According to Gay, Paul actually "brainwashed" a nine year-old girl 11 years ago when he defended her father in a criminal case. The father was acquitted way back when and now the mother and now 20 year-old daughter blame Paul and are testifying against him in this fiasco of a prosecution.

Who specifically determined that anyone "brainwashed" this kid? I will assume that there will be a psychiatrist testifying as to the state of mind of the girl 11 years ago and another psychiatrist testifying on her progress and current state of mind - for the prosecution and also for the defense. Gather your psychiatrists people.

The mother seems like a total drama queen and attention-seeker from all that I have read. I bet that she contacted prosecutors and not vice-versa. She gets her 5 minutes of fame and a break from the boring day job and gets paid!

Paul Bergrin is no more capable of "brainwashing" a nine year-old than he is of performing brain surgery. What a sick twist this trial is taking. Will prosecutors dredge-up every case Paul has defended in past? If so, I change my time estimate to a minimum of 1 year 'cause 4 months ain't going to cover it people.

Beyond all of that total BS, the government called cops, a detective, and then a doctor that testified as to Marilu's condition when she was brought to the ER 11 years ago. Someone please tell me how any of this is relevant to Paul Bergrin? He was a defense attorney and Marilu's husband, Norberto Velez, hired him. Period. Should Paul have tossed the case in favor of the state? Is that what attorneys are supposed to do if they suspect a client might be guilty? And why is her name now changed to Bruno? According to the documents it was Carmona yesterday and she is a notary public under Carmona.

Yet cross-examination of these many irrelevant witnesses to nothing is not relevant? Give me an f'ing break! If Judge Cavanaugh is the no-nonsense facts man that I read about, please ask him to step forward and get a grip on this ridiculous turn the prosecutors have chosen to take.

The Price of Tea in China

So far the witnesses that prosecutors have called to testify are about as relevant to the actual charges Paul Bergrin is on trial for as the price of tea in China. Of course the charges are absurd anyway. Paul was an attorney that represented clients and it was not his place to pass moral judgment on a client when accepting a case. Are there attorneys out there that approach a criminal defense practice any differently? I have never encountered one.

I have met or interacted with many criminal defense attorneys over the years, but have never come across one that refused a case because a client might be guilty of something. Attorneys defend the innocent, the guilty, and anything in-between because that's what they do. They are criminal defense attorneys.

Does anyone actually have an issue with the fact that Paul Bergrin represented Marilu Carmona's former husband? Apparently prosecutors do. Would it have suited AUSA Gay if the husband had no attorney at all? Would AUSA Gay prefer to practice in India where the Delhi Bar Association recently stated that no members would represent accused rapists and murderers on moral grounds?

This is the United States and every criminal defendant is entitled to representation by competent counsel. Attorneys are not supposed to be judged by the clients they represent. The right to an impartial trial and representation by counsel is in the wording and is the spirit of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

For prosecutors to repeatedly flash an image of a nine year-old girl and then call her mother to the stand with an outlandish accusation that Paul Bergrin brainwashed the child in the course of defending the father who had allegedly attempted to kill mom is outrageous! For Judge Cavanaugh to allow this charade is twice as outrageous.

Yeah, I'm ticked-off, if you haven't noticed. These people THINK they're going to railroad Paul. If you are a criminal defense attorney, you should be even more outraged than I am.

Furthermore, the original case in which Paul represented Marilu Carmona's husband is not as clear as prosecutors would have you believe. This is what one friend sitting in the courtroom for Paul's trial had to say about the situation:

A view in the courtroom by Jihadah Sharif:

"Vicky, the government is trying to convince that Paul Bergrin is a cold blooded killer. To prove their accusation they are using a case that happened about 10 years ago when Paul defended a man charged with attempted murdered of his wife by stabbing. In the opening the gov. put up the picture of the couple's then 9 year old daughter who the gov. claimed that Paul, Yolanda and the father brainwashed to lie to save the father.

In cross Paul all but proved that what the child said in favor of the father was true. The mother claimed that she was so afraid of the father, but she made every opportunity to be around him. I am sure he convinced the jury that the mother in fact may had been the one who had planned to kill the father but the table turned.

The judge gave Paul a hard time in his cross-exam of the witness, (the mother) to get his point across, but enough information came out to convince the jury that what the gov. claimed was not true. I know I was convinced - not because I am a Paul Bergrin fan, but because of the facts presented.

I believe that the judge should have given Paul room in questioning the mother because more information could have came out. Like I said, the mother who claimed that she was so much in fear of this man moved only a few blocks from him. There was no complaint of him stalking her and the daughter lived with the father so that she could stay in the same school district...."

So there you have it. The prosecutors are not only using the fact that Paul Bergrin represented his share of drug dealers, but also pulling-in other cases in which they did not like the defendant that Paul represented and felt that the defendant should have no counsel or lousy counsel that did nothing to defend him. The worst part is that Judge Cavanaugh, the supposedly fair and impartial facts man, is going along with this sick anti-constitutional charade.

More later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Statements Out of Context: Oscar the Informant

I suppose that I should be amazed that mainstream newspapers are quoting a two-sentence statement that Paul Bergrin made in a conversation to Oscar the Informant in reference to a hit when the feds have 6 months worth of tapes. I'm not amazed though and not even surprised. Conversations between Paul and Oscar transpired over a 6-month period and were not isolated to a couple of sentences in one conversation.

Obviously Paul was playing a game with a nasty informant that pursued him non-stop. How hard is that to imagine? He probably (no doubt) had a few drinks at the time he made the short and damaging statement and considered it a funny joke at the time. He probably had reached his limit on calls from Oscar the Informant. We all have a snap point - the point when we start playing back. Been there and dealt with that...

Oscar the Informant pursued Paul for 6 months on behalf of federal agents. Kemo was dead and they needed a scapegoat, otherwise the lawsuits would commence and other informants would not feel safe. The entire system they had built was collapsing and something had to be done to stop it. Paul Bergrin was chosen as scapegoat. They figured they could kill two birds with one stone: Get rid of a lawyer that actually fought for his clients and direct the blame for Kemo's murder away from their little group at the same time.

So what do they do? They have Oscar the Informant pursue Paul Bergrin for 6 entire months. They managed to get a damaging two-sentence statement taken out of context and made as a joke while Paul was celebrating his birthday. That is what this entire case rests on! The rest of it is smoke and mirrors and criminal informants desperate to please prosecutors and agents.

The real question is where are all of the other tapes? Oscar taped their conversations for 6 months, so I would expect a huge box full of tapes, wouldn't you? I expect each and every tape to be entered into evidence by prosecutors.

When ALL conversations between Paul and Oscar the Informant are examined it will be clear to anyone taking the time to listen that Paul was playing a game. He had reached his snap point with the pursuit by Oscar and the feds and had a few birthday drinks. He made a joke. That joke, that is only funny if taken in context of all conversations and somewhat impaired when listening, is what this entire 26-count indictment rests on.

The entire case is absurd. Wow. Prosecutors managed to find a couple of damaging sentences in 6 months worth of taped conversations by an impaired man on his birthday. As if any actual hitman would accept being instructed to wear a ski mask! Good grief. The worst part is that the general population is buying it hook, line, and sinker. We can only hope that the jurors are more intelligent.

Welcome Career Criminal Lachoy Walker

Career criminal and professional criminal informant Lachoy Walker was sworn-in to testilie late today. This guy has testified against so many of his former drug gang members that he has a certain recognizable style. He's working it for the feds, obviously, as they are probably the only friends he has these days.

Mr. Walker testified on 24 October 2011, in Paul's last trial, and his testimony is supposed to be related to the Kemo killing. Paul previously revealed that Mr. Walker never actually witnessed anything and is testifying only to his claim that Hakeem Curry secretly told him that Paul was his drug connection. If you know much of anything about Curry, you'll know that he didn't run around informing his underlings who his connections were. To do so would have deeply undermined his own position at the top.

As a matter of fact, that is not how drug gangs operate. If the guy at the top informed his workers where he purchased his drugs, well, he wouldn't be at the top for long. To read Lachoy Walker's testimony in the first trial, scroll to page 133:

US v. Bergrin 10-24-2011 (link removed - contact me privately for a copy)

Mr. Walker has managed to avoid what would have been a life sentence by helping the feds in a list of cases. Read all about his career and his many prison stints in the transcript linked.

According to Walker, Hakeem Curry ran his mouth to everyone all of the time. Read on page 161, lines 17-18. You will see that the testimony has changed. Walker is not stating that Paul Bergrin was Curry's "connect" but that "Curry got his connect from Paul". These are two very different statements. Perhaps this "connect" was someone that Curry met in Paul's law office; perhaps anything - perhaps it is all lies. Paul establishes clearly that Walker was never present for any conversations that he had with Curry.

Walker spends most of his testimony discussing and identifying his cohorts in the drug organization and the many escapades over the years leading to his set-up of Curry for the DEA and the subsequent arrest. The cross-examination by Paul begins on page 196 - read it because Paul reveals that Walker does not even know how many convictions he has there have been so many. It is enlightening - Paul catches him in lies related to his testimony in other cases. To top it off, Walker's sister also had a major federal trafficking case.

I leave you with a few questions:

If anything that Mr. Walker claims is true, then why is it not coming from Hakeem Curry himself? I prefer my testimony to be direct from the source or the horse's mouth as they say. Why do we have to hear Walker claim that Curry stated something to him or other underlings? Why isn't Curry testifying?

The answer in my eyes: Because it is all bullshit and the government can't get Curry to lie on the stand and testify about words never stated and events that never happened.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Will Jason Itzler be Called to Testify

There is no witness list available from the government in the Bergrin trial. There is no real reasoning for this, but the government gets away with it anyway by utilizing absurd allegations of hitmen and witness tampering. This trial is much different than the last one because of all counts against Paul Bergrin being thrown together and it is likely that prosecutors will call Jason Itzler to the stand.

Itzler was the owner of New York Confidential (NY Confidential), the escort service that Paul is accused of operating. The reality is that Paul, like so many other attorneys in the US, was an agent of the corporation operated by Itzler. When I first set-up a corporation I did it through an attorney and I repeated this process with the next corporation formed for my own escort services. My attorney was my registered agent - there is nothing illegal about this and it is actually advisable.

Perhaps Paul's relationship to Itzler was too close for comfort in that he also provided employment paperwork for Itzler when he was released on parole in an earlier ((2003) New Jersey case that involved smuggling Ecstasy from Amsterdam into Newark airport. I can hear Itzler begging Paul now. One thing about Paul is that he has a soft heart as should be obvious in this case. He employed various parolees in his law office over a lengthy period of time. Paul manages to see good in everyone.

Itzler was later (2005) convicted on various counts involving NY Confidential and served a prison sentence. In 2011, Itzler set-up a brand new escort agency and was arrested on numerous charges, mostly cocaine related, several weeks later. He made a guilty plea in that last case in May of 2012 and is currently serving a 4-year sentence in a NY State prison. Jason Itzler is a career criminal, obviously.

I'm of course not sure on this, but would think that statute of limitations has run out on any charge related to NY Confidential. Perhaps this is not the situation as a result of the indictment being filed in 2009, the later severance, and the time spent arguing over the severance prior to the start of the current trial. Regardless, I seriously doubt that Paul Bergrin operated an escort business in NY. Paul was an attorney and not a telephone operator or anything else for Itzler's service.

Just because Paul was an agent of the corporation does not translate to actually "operating a prostitution business". Feel free to check with any attorney in the US on that. Beyond that, prosecutors have yet another criminal informant that will be called to testify as to Paul's relationship with Itzler. The indictment refers to this informant as a criminal with initials J.C. So we have two criminal informants - J.C. and J.I. - to testify on this count.

You should be recognizing a pattern in the many counts against Paul Bergrin: Anyone claiming to have witnessed anything is a convicted criminal. The pattern continues as each criminal informant tries desperately to knock time off a sentence or garner other favors from prosecutors. This should be illegal. Oh wait - it is illegal.

Make sure to check the Documents page on this blog for new docs in the current trial.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Long Trial Ahead

Paul Bergrin's second trial began today and voir dire was underway. According to the Pretrial Conference document filed on 3 January 2013, federal prosecutors expect the trial to continue for 3 months and Paul estimated 3 to 4 months. I believe it will be closer to 4 months, if not longer.

There are many allegations that must be closely examined. There is also evidence of government misconduct that will be revealed and prosecutors will not be able to make disappear.

Prosecutors wanted the jury sequestered, but the motion was denied, and rightly so. What possible reasoning could the DOJ use to attempt sequestration? Well, you will have to use your imagination on this because the actual motion was not filed in the case. The jury will remain anonymous, which is fine. We do not have any need for their names, but we do want to read their notes as each is filed.

As you may have guessed from my infrequent posts, my health is not good at this time, but then Paul's is not much better at the moment. I will post documents in this trial as they are filed and any extras that I can get my hands on. I do know for fact that there is far more defense evidence of government misconduct than you have heard about in mainstream news, so tune in and check back.