#166 Jul 7, 2009
Looks like AUSA Bobby O'Neill has stepped out of bounds in another case. When will he be prosecuted?
#167 Jul 7, 2009
How does all this relate to the US v. Spellissy case? If O'Neill is found guilty of perjury in a different case, does Spellissy get a new trial? Looks like O'Neill did the same thing to Del Fuoco as he did to Spellissy and William Burke. Why doesn't Burke appeal his conviction or has he? Why hasn't the judge made a decision on Spellissy's most recent motion? Has anyone talked to Spellissy recently? I saw him on channel 10 news a few weeks ago.
#168 Jul 7, 2009
O'Neill is now treading water. He doesn't have his king-maker Repubs in high places any more. O'Neill spoke at Well's retirement, has stayed bff's with the whole Wells clan that should have gone to prison in the first place.
Maybe this time....
#169 Jul 8, 2009
AUSA made his bed with Congressman Young and Generals Brown and Hennies. O'Neill supported his lying Federal Agent, Special Agent Calvert. Looks like this guy Del Fuoco is determined to get to the bottom of what happened to him as so is Spellissy. Interesting dynamics in play. Also, just learned that Judge Whittemore is the judge in Del Fuoco's lawsuit. This judge already knows what O'Neill is capable of doing.
#170 Jul 8, 2009
It is now crystal clear given the facts of the Spellissy case, Gore Dean case and now what Del Fuoco and other AUSAs say about O'Neill is that O'Neill is nothing less than a ass kissing liar and a prosector who is looking out for the politically connected. The world is starting to cave in on him and rightly so. What goes around is simply coming back around.
#171 Jul 8, 2009
Here is what Del Fuoco has to say about the Spellissy case
#172 Jul 9, 2009
Taken from CBS news article
"Although Del Fuoco was told to drop the case, he says in the lawsuit he continued to investigate and eventually a Sergeant in the Manatee sheriff's office, Joseph Burnhart, contacted him with a warning. Burnhart confirmed to us that he told Del Fuoco his life and his family's lives were in danger."
Didn't William Burke testify at Spellissy's trial that Federal Agent Calvert threatened his family's lives.
Is this just mere coincidence? I doubt it.
#173 Jul 11, 2009
Wow, this case has been going on for three years and it is getting more interesting.
#174 Jul 14, 2009
Here is a copy of a letter to the Board recommending the next United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida concerning AUSA Robert E. O'Neill unethical behavior in another case. See this link...
There is obviously, other than Spellissy, with concerns about AUSA O'Neill.
#175 Jul 14, 2009
Ed - not surprised by this. Attorney Scanlan has it out for AUSA Robert E. O'Neill. Given a Spellissy victory in September, O'Neill will have many more issues to deal with.
#176 Jul 14, 2009
I am not surprised either.
#177 Jul 16, 2009
ST. PETERSBURG — Federal agents early Wednesday raided Conax Florida Corp., a St. Petersburg defense contractor that provides equipment for the military and NASA.
Conax's three-building complex on 75th Street N closed for the day as agents from several federal agencies came and went carrying boxes and paper files.
"At this point, we're still trying to figure out what all they're after," said general manager Chet Claudon. "And we just don't know.''
A sign on the company's doors read: "Search warrant in progress, official business only beyond this point." The only activity in the front of the offices was the occasional T-shirted officer hurrying in and out of the front door.
The Defense Criminal Investigative Service executed the search warrant with the assistance of other agencies including: the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the offices of inspector general with NASA and the Department of Transportation.
At the scene, Brooke Harris, an agent with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, said the search warrant was part of an ongoing investigation. She declined to comment on the details of the search or on why the agents were at Conax.
Conax is best known for making safety devices, including life preservers that automatically inflate when they hit water. The company also makes aerospace products known as pyrovalves or pyrotechnical valves used mainly in spacecraft and rocketry. The life support branch is responsible for small restraints such as seat belts and ejection seat components.
Conax is the official, legal name of Cobham Life Support Systems, Claudon said. It is a division of British defense contractor Cobham.
In an interview Wednesday, U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, said he knows the company well and that it has a good record within the military.
"I was a little surprised because we've never had any suggestion that Conax was not performing properly and not doing what they were contracted to do," said Young, who has helped secure millions of dollars in federal contracts for the company.
The company moved its headquarters from Buffalo, N.Y., to Pinellas County in 1983. In 1987, the Navy awarded Conax an $8.2 million contract to produce 31,000 explosive devices that are used to automatically inflate a pilot's life vest when it enters water. At the time, the Department of Defense credited Conax equipment with helping save the lives of 180 Navy and Air Force pilots since 1981.
In 2007, Conax received a $7.5 million contract to provide seat belt kits for Army Humvees. Last year, Conax was awarded a $34 million Department of Defense contract for life support equipment. Young got the company $4 million for a restraint system and another $2.4 million for similar equipment, records show.
This year, Young got earmarks worth $3.2 million and $2.4 million. And in the current budget negotiations, he is seeking $4 million for a "belt tensioning" restraint system for Air Force aircraft platforms.
Several Conax employees have made individual contributions to Young's campaign from 2006 to 2008 adding up to more than $6,000. Claudon himself donated $600 in total.
Young said there is no relationship between the earmarks he has secured and the political contributions that Conax and its parent company have given him.
"My support was for what the Army needed, and this was a company that had proven it can provide it," he said.
In deciding to seek an earmark, he reviews the proposal then confers with the Defense Department, he said.
"If it looks legitimate to us and the Defense Department says,'Yeah we really need that,' then we'll do that," he said.
Young said it was hard to say how serious the matter is until the details emerge, but again added that the company has performed well on its contracts.
Talk to Tom Spellissy about how Young manages plus ups.
#178 Aug 30, 2009
Looks like Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. O'Niell crossed the line and former AUSA Del Fuoco put him on notice. See below.
From: new centurion group
Date: Sat, Aug 29, 2009
Subject: Your In Office Sexual Misconduct and my Interview of Gerald Perez, Esquire
To: [email protected]
Cc: "Davenport, Joe (Bill Nelson)" <[email protected] enate.gov>, [email protected], [email protected], "FitzGerald, Ellen (USAEO)" <[email protected] >, [email protected]
Dear Mr. O'Neill:
On August 25 and 26, 2009, I interviewed Mr. Gerald Perez concerning an adulterous affair that you conducted with his wife (Angelique E. Perez), a subordinate employee in the U.S. Attorney's Office. This illicit relationship occurred during a period of time when you were the acting U.S. Attorney, and at ALL times when you were a supervisor in the U.S. Attorney's Office. Angie Perez was a subordinate of yours in the chain of command.
According to Mr. Perez, your sexual liaisons with his wife in the workplace were major factors in the breakup of his marriage. Mr. Perez's statements suggested to me that you may have misled Angie Perez concerning your long-term intentions, and that later on, Ms. Perez may have learned that you had no intentions of divorcing your present wife. At this point, Angie Perez attempted to reconcile with her husband, but this was not possible. 2 young children are involved, and Mr. Perez (a member of the Florida Bar) has related that there is "no question" that your in office affair with his wife led to the breakup of their marriage.
In addition to what we now know to be true (i.e., your sexual misconduct with a subordinate and your own adultery), former AUSA colleagues of mine in the office (and presently subordinates of yours) have suggested that during a period of time when you were involved in the prosecution of Mr. Wesley Snipes, you may have had liaisons with Mr. Perez's wife while out of town trying that matter in another part of the district. This was during a period of time when you used your DOJ travel account, and charged off expenses to the Federal Government. Please be advised that unlike the adulterous, in-office affair, this latter suggestion is not supported by any evidence yet. At this point, it has been portrayed to me as a suspicion only.
Given all of the foregoing and more, please explain to Senator Nelson and the DOJ officials receiving this e-mail "why" you are fit to continue as a supervisory federal prosecutor, let alone a federal prosecutor at all. Does this misconduct not reflect on your fitness to be the U.S. Attorney, a position you are presently seeking? Did you report your misconduct to Senator Nelson? If not, then please own up to it now.
As you can see, a copy of this e-mail is being sent Senator Nelson and appropriate DOJ officials that I understand are now investigating this matter. It is also being sent to Ms. Perez, who appears to me to be as much a victim in this matter as was her husband and family. In this regard, Mr. Perez has suggested that you may have exerted undue influence over his wife, given your position of authority over her Such conduct is exactly what guidelines published by the EEO office seek to prevent. Your conduct violates them, and it appears to have potentially violated the law.
Jeffrey J. Del Fuoco
#179 Aug 30, 2009
Rep. Bill Young caught with his pants down:
#180 Dec 9, 2009
DECEMBER 9, 2009.
Justices Question Antifraud Law
Measure Used to Prosecute Politicians and Executives Could Be Struck Down.ArticleComments
By JESS BRAVIN
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court expressed deep skepticism Tuesday about a federal antifraud law that prosecutors have often used against politicians and corporate executives, suggesting it was too vague to be constitutional.
The court's questioning came as it heard appeals by former publishing magnate Conrad Black and a former Alaska state legislator. Both were charged with violating the federal law that prohibits schemes to "deprive another of the intangible right of honest services."
Justices across the court's ideological spectrum seemed in agreement that the concept of honest-services fraud was so broad as to sweep almost any white lie or self-serving act into the purview of prosecutors.
If the Supreme Court throws out the law or limits its scope, it could have major consequences for fraud prosecutions across the U.S. Since it was passed in 1988, the honest-services law has been used in many high-profile cases including the prosecution of former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling. His case is set to come before the high court next spring.
Striking down the honest-services crime would trigger "an earthquake within the criminal justice community," said David Seide, a former federal prosecutor now with Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle LLP in Washington. Defendants convicted under the statute "will be able to say their convictions need to be reversed," he said.
Prosecutors have already been turning to other laws. On Monday, the U.S. attorney in Chicago filed court papers saying prosecutors intend to invoke different criminal statutes in the case of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was accused of honest-services fraud earlier this year.
The Supreme Court has held that laws must be drafted so that the line between criminal conduct and lawful activity, even if unethical or distasteful, is clear.
Justices' questions suggested they didn't think the honest-services law met that test.
In one example, Justice Stephen Breyer imagined an employee distracting his supervisor with small talk "so the boss will leave the room so that the worker can continue to read the Racing Form."
Deception like that was intended to shirk performing an honest day's work -- and probably happens countless times every day across the country -- Justice Breyer told Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben, who was defending the law.
"Explain it to me how your test does not make this statute potentially criminalizing 100 million workers in the United States," Justice Breyer said.
Mr. Dreeben said trivial misrepresentations weren't within the law's scope. "The statute covers bribes, kickbacks and undisclosed conflicts of interest by an agent or fiduciary who takes action to further that interest," he said. The law also covers nonmonetary fraud, he said, such as abuses of the doctor-patient or lawyer-client relationship.
Congress enacted the law in 1988, after the Supreme Court threw out mail-fraud convictions against several politicians in Kentucky for funneling state business to favored companies. "The mail fraud statute clearly protects property rights, but does not refer to the intangible right of the citizenry to good government," Justice Byron White wrote for the court.
But the congressional fix -- explicitly recognizing a right to "intangible" honest services -- has sown confusion among lower courts over its breadth and raised the ire of Justice Antonin Scalia, who in an opinion earlier this year urged his colleagues to examine the statute.
#181 Dec 9, 2009
If the Supreme Court finds 18 USC 1346 unconstitutional then Spellissy is a free man.
The Court stated:
“It may not have been intended by you [Spellissy] to violate the law, but he [Burke] was in a position of conflict. And an employee who is in a position of conflict with a competing entity has not only a conflict of interest, but that presents that intangible right or the jeopardy – puts in jeopardy the intangible right of honest services. And that is where this case begin [s] and that’s where it ended.”(Dkt 114 p. 83-84).
#182 Dec 10, 2009
As Justice Antonin Scalia recently noted:, "Without some coherent limiting principle to define what 'the intangible right of honest services' is, whence it derives, and how it is violated, this expansive phrase invites abuse by headline-grabbing prosecutors in pursuit of local officials, state legislators, and corporate CEOs who engage in any manner of unappealing or ethically questionable conduct.''
With certainty, the floodgates will now open. All convicted of honest-services fraud--especially those still in prison like Abramoff and Ryan--will petition the court that sentenced them to vacate the judgment and free them at once.
This includes Spellissy!
#183 Dec 11, 2009
Without Honest Services, the Government Will Live
The WSJ Blog asks - "If Honest-Services Law is Struck, Will an "Earthquake Ensue?" During the hearing on Mortgage Fraud, Securities Fraud, and the Financial Meltdown: Prosecuting Those Responsible, Assistant AG Lanny Breuer, in response to a question, talked about the importance of having a statute such as the honest services statute.(see here)
But is it really necessary? And will it really hurt the government's ability to prosecute criminal cases if the Supreme Court decides otherwise?
After the Supreme Court in McNally struck down "intangible rights," some convictions needed to be re-evaluated - most noteworthy here were cases from Chicago's Operation Greylord. From the defense side there was a growth of the Writ of Corum Nobis to assist those who had been convicted and finished their sentences. And yes, some convictions were overturned.
What happened from the government side post-McNally, was that cases being brought that included "money or property" for the mail or wire fraud charge survived the Supreme Court decision. Most interesting after McNally was the fact that the Supreme Court came back on its heels and issued the Carpenter case, a case that expanded property to include "intangible property." This provided a new avenue for government prosecutions. The government was not put out of business by the Supreme Court decision in McNally as they could still bring mail and wire fraud cases alleging a deprivation of money or property. But even here, the government pushed the envelope, such as trying to include regulatory licenses as property. The Supreme Court saw otherwise.(Cleveland)
The government was given a second chance with the passage of section 1346 on intangible rights to honest services. But they pushed the envelope, over-used the statute [Spellissy case], and now we all wonder whether the Court will react by eliminating the definition statute. After all, the 28 words in the statute leave many wondering what is criminal and what is not.
But to answer the WSJ Blog's question, one needs to examine the cases that have been brought under 1346. The question that really needs to be considered is whether these cases could still have been brought. Clearly if there was a false statement or bribery, other federal statutes allow for the prosecution. Likewise, if there was a money or property deprivation, then the prosecution could proceed with mail or wire fraud.
The bottom line is that the arsenal of federal statutes remains strong (perhaps too strong with enormous overlapping crimes and disorganization in the federal code). Yes, removing honest services may make it more difficult for the prosecution to proceed in some cases.(for background see here) But what is important is that people understand that the conduct they are committing is a violation of law and subject to criminal penalties. In the white collar world, this realization can often suffice to avoid the commission of the wrongful act as people are not inclined to do something criminal if they know the act is subject to a prison term. And this certainly will cost us all a lot less time and money then having a statute that people have no clue as to what it includes and what is excludes.
#184 Dec 12, 2009
Spellissy has two appeals at the 11th Circuit. If the statute is overturned; does Spellissy have to wait until the 11th Circuit decides on his two appeals?
#185 Dec 14, 2009
Argument Accelerated in Pending "Honest Services" Mail Fraud Case
ScotusBlog reports that the Court has moved up by three weeks (to March 1) the argument in Skilling v. United States, which is the third case that the Court will be hearing this Term on the “honest services” provision of mail fraud law. The Skilling case, however, raises more directly and pointedly than the other two cases the issue of that law’s constitutionality. The Court had heard the other two cases last week, and at least some Justices seemed strongly interested in the constitutional question.
The probability that Spellissy will win is increasing.
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