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Tag: Paul Fishman

Round 2: Newark Feds Go for Retrial of Ex-Fed Prosecutor

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Round two is coming in the epic battle between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ex-federal prosecutor Paul Bergrin, a high-profile  Newark defense attorney who was accused of orchestrating a 2004 murder of an FBI witness in a case in which he had a client.

The first round, for all practical purposes, went to Bergrin, after the jury deadlocked the day before Thanksgiving on the charges and the judge declared a mistrial.

Newark U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gay sent a letter dated Dec. 1 to U.S. District Judge William J. Martini stating:

“The Government formally requests to try the balance of the Second Superseding Indictment (Counts 1 through 11 and 14 through 33) on January 4, 2012, though it will not oppose a request to sever the tax counts (Counts 27 through 33). Further, the Government will not oppose any reasonable continuance Mr. Bergrin may need to prepare for trial.”

The government has also theorized that Bergrin allegedly orchestrated the hit of a witness to cover up the fact that he was allegedly supplying cocaine to drug gangs.

Blood Gang Leader Admits to Murdering Teen in Case of Mistaken Identity

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A leader of a Bloods street gang in New Jersey has admitted to the murder of an innocent teenager in a case of mistaken identity, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

Torien Brooks, the 30-year-old leader of the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims subgroups or chapters of the Bloods, also admitted Tuesday in federal court in Newark to kidnapping a rival gang member and conspiring to sell narcotics, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a press release.

According to court documents, the murder took place on July 19, 2004 in Jersey City and involved Brooks and  co-defendant Emmanuel Jones, 27, of Jersey City, who went by the names “Killer,” “Killer E” and “Emo.” The documents say the two shot and killed who they thought to be responsible for an earlier shooting of a fellow gang member, but who was in fact an innocent teenager identified only as “M.T.” Three bystanders were hit by stray shots in the incident.

The kidnapping confession involves a rival gang member identified as “M.M.” According to ATF, Brooks said that he and fellow members Lary Mayo, 29, John Benning, 28, and Haleek State, 26 conspired to kidnap M.M. after a M.M. had changed gang sub-groups without permission.

The four kidnapped M.M. on April 11, 2005, pistol whipped him and took him to Patterson Falls, N.J., with the intent to kill him. M.M. was able to make a break and run to safety, according to court documents.

The narcotics confession involves a period in April 2007 and continuing for about a year in which Brooks and others conspired to smuggle heroin into Northern State Prison in Newark, where he was incarcerated. As part of the conspiracy, he and others in the Fruit Town and Brick City Brims gangs conspired to sell heroine on the streets of Paterson and have profits sent to his prison commissary account.

Brooks’ sentencing is set for Dec. 14. The racketeering count to which Brooks pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of life in prison and $250,000. Jones, Mayo and Benning await sentencing for similar charges.

 

Computer Geeks Continue to Wreak Havoc

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Computer geeks are wreaking so much havoc we may soon have to have prison just for geeks.

The latest: The FBI has busted Jason Cornish, 37, of Smyrna, Ga., with hacking into a New Jersey pharmaceutical company’s computer network and shutting down operations, resulting in losses of at least $300,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

“The computers on which companies do business are the engines of the 21st century economy,” Newark U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said late last week. “Malicious intrusions are against the law, regardless of motive. Hacking attacks devised as personal revenge can have serious repercussions for perpetrators as well as victims.”

“In this instance, Jason Cornish allegedly was able to inflict great damage to Shionogi, Inc., with the stroke of a few computer keys,” added Michael Ward, head of the Newark FBI.

Authorities said Cornish was an information technology employee at Shionogi, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of a Japanese pharmaceutical company with operations in New Jersey and Georgia.

In late September 2010, shortly after Cornish had resigned from Shionogi, the company announced layoffs that would affect a close friend and former supervisor, authorities said.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 3, Cornish gained unauthorized access to Shionogi’s computer network and took control of a piece of software that he had secretly installed on the server several weeks earlier.

Cornish then used the secretly installed software program to delete the contents of each of 15 “virtual hosts” on Shionogi’s computer network, authorities said.

The 15 virtual hosts housed the equivalent of 88 different computer servers.

The deleted servers housed most of Shionogi’s American computer infrastructure, including the company’s e mail and Blackberry servers, its order tracking system, and its financial management software, authorities said.

The attack effectively froze Shionogi’s operations for a number of days, leaving company employees unable to ship product, cut checks, or communicate by e-mail, authorities said.

Justice Dept. Probing Newark Police Dept.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is going after another major police department.

Nearly a year after it  announced plans to look into questionable practices of the New Orleans Police Department, Justice officials on Monday said they were setting their sites on the Newark Police force.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Perez and U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman of Newark made the announcement, saying they want to fix the problems.

“As Paul mentioned already, the Civil Rights Division, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, conducted a preliminary inquiry and concluded that it would be necessary and appropriate to begin a formal civil pattern or practice investigation,” said Perez.

“Our investigation will focus on allegations of excessive force, unconstitutional stops, searches, arrests and seizures, discriminatory policing, whether officers retaliate against people who observe and/or record police activity and conditions of confinement at the Green Street Lockup,” Perez added.

“U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman and I have put together a top notch team of lawyers and staff. We are retaining experts in policing, and we will reach out to a wide range of stakeholders. We will hear from officers in the NPD, people elsewhere within the administration, key stakeholders in the criminal justice system, and the community at large.”

U.S. Atty. Jenny Durkan Has Biggest Net Worth So Far With $5.9 Mil

Well, this certainly shows some diversity when it comes to finances. So far, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan of Washington state leads the pack with $5.9 million in net worth.

Jenny Durkan/doj photo

Jenny Durkan/doj photo

By Christopher M. Matthews
Main Justice
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s U.S. Attorney nominees are turning out to be a diverse bunch in terms of race, gender – and net worth.

Of the 29 U.S. Attorney candidates who have been confirmed or nominated so far, reported net worth ranges from nearly $6 million to less than $10,000, according to an analysis of financial disclosure data filed with the Senate Judiciary Committtee.

The wealthiest include recently confirmed U.S. Attorneys Jenny Durkan of the Western District of Washington ($5.9 million) and Paul Fishman of New Jersey ($5.1 million).

Four nominees reported net worth of less than $200,000. They are Stephanie Rose, nominated to lead Iowa’s Northern District; Richard Callahan, nominated for Missouri’s Eastern District; Carter Stewart of Ohio’s Southern District; and Nick Klinefeldt, of Iowa’s Northern District

For Full Story

Senate Confirms N.J. U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman

Paul Fishman for N.J. U.S. Atty.

Paul Fishman for N.J. U.S. Atty.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s official. Defense attroney and former former federal prosecutor Paul J. Fishman is the new U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

The U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment Thursday night, the Newark Star-Ledger reported.

Fishman, 52, will replace Ralph J. Marra, who has been acting U.S. Attorney since Chris Christie stepped down to run for governor, the paper reported.

“I’m delighted, and I’m looking forward to going to work,” Fishman told the Star-Ledger. “I am very grateful to Sen. (Frank) Lautenberg and Sen. (Robert) Menendez for their confidence and their support.”

N.J. Nominee for U.S. Atty. Paul Fishman Refuses to Disclose Full Client List

This raises an interesting dilemma. Yes, we have a right to know as much about a U.S. Attorney candidate as possible. And yes, clients who are targets of grand juries have a right to privacy. What to do? We assume we can trust nominees like Fishman to recuse themselves in instances where there’s a conflict of interest. On the other hand, maybe we should just avoid appointing U.S. Attorneys who are criminal lawyers and have disclosure issues.

Paul Fishman for N.J. U.S. Atty.

Paul Fishman for N.J. U.S. Atty.

By Jim McElhatton
Washington Times
WASHINGTON — The criminal defense lawyer nominated by President Obama to be the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey is declining to identify more than half of his private clients on government forms designed to help the public guard against potential conflicts of interests.

Paul J. Fishman, nominated to serve as the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, is citing the privacy interests of the clients – an exemption that is permitted under federal ethics laws, but that leaves prosecutors on an honor system to police their own conflicts, ethics watchdogs say.

Mr. Fishman provided the names of 29 clients on the government disclosure form, including a convicted former New Jersey municipal official, a health care company and the former girlfriend of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

But he withheld the names of “approximately 37 confidential clients,[“] saying they cannot be named because they are involved in grand jury or other secret investigations.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-Fed Prosecutor Paul Fishman Returning to the Fold in New Jersey as U.S. Attorney

Paul Fishman, an ex-federal prosecutors has unquestionably been a formidable opponent for the government as a defense attorney. Now the government is bring him back on its side. Couldn’t hurt.

By Joe Ryan
Newark Star-Ledger
Paul Fishman for N.J. U.S. Atty.

Paul Fishman

NEWARK — In 2001, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark held a press conference trumpeting the arrests of three Chinese immigrants, saying their company stole software from Lucent Technologies in a major instance of high-stakes corporate espionage.

Yet after prosecutors spent four years working the case, it ended with a whimper. Charges were dropped against two of the men, including one represented by Paul J. Fishman, an ex-federal prosecutor with a reputation as one of New Jersey’s most erudite and aggressive attorneys.

“Paul was certainly a very, very important part of that defense team,” said Robert Fettweis, an attorney who worked alongside Fishman on the Lucent case. “He is a very smart lawyer.”

After 12 years as a white-collar criminal defense lawyer, Fishman is poised to become a prosecutor again. President Obama nominated him June 4 to become U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, and the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on his confirmation within weeks.

For Full Story