Read how District Attorneys at the Department of Justice can obscure a process in order to deprive major fraud victims of restitution.
DOJ Attorneys can make deals with major perpetrators of fraud and then allege their need for secrecy to withhold information from interested parties, thus helping perpetrators avoid paying restitution. This is a violation of the Crime Victims Restitution Act.
A Congressional House Committee was informed of this situation back in 2013 and did nothing, allowing this practice with its violation of the law to continue.
The case of Loretta Lynch,
nominated to be US Attorney General
nominated to be US Attorney General
|Loretta Lynch & Pres. Obama|
Washington Times - More than a year before President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, a former federal judge quietly called on Congress to investigate her U.S. attorney’s office for trampling on victims’ rights.
Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah, said Ms. Lynch’s office, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, never told victims in a major stock fraud case that a culprit had been sentenced — denying them a chance to seek restitution of some $40 million in losses.
Mr. Cassell, in written remarks to a House Judiciary Committee panel in 2013, said if prosecutors were using secretive sentencing procedures to reward criminals for cooperating with them, it could violate the Crime Victims Restitution Act.
“Every day that the office withholds notice from the victims in this case about the continuing proceedings that are occurring in this case is a day in which the office is violating the CVRA,” he wrote, urging the subcommittee to conduct its own inquiry into Ms. Lynch’s office.
The Judiciary Committee acknowledged in an email to The Washington Times that it never followed up to contact Ms. Lynch’s office, but added the panel “has not ruled out sending an inquiry to the U.S. attorney’s office regarding its handling of victims’ rights.”
Ms. Lynch’s nomination to be attorney general will soon come before the Senate Judiciary Committee, now controlled by Republicans, and the case could surface as a topic of inquiry.
“I do think it’s something that the Senate should be investigating as part of the confirmation process,” Mr. Cassell said in an interview.
Meanwhile, a lawyer has filed a Supreme Court petition to force more records in the criminal case to be unsealed, charging that Ms. Lynch’s office has failed to explain secret deals it gives cooperators.
“These deals, indisputably in defiance of mandatory federal forfeiture and restitution laws, allow cooperators to keep the proceeds of their crimes in exchange for their cooperation and keep their reputation intact, hidden behind secret dockets,” said attorney Frederick Oberlander, who has sued the businessman on behalf of fraud victims.
The petition isn’t the first time that Mr. Oberlander and his attorney, Richard Lerner (Mr Oberlander's attorney), have sought to pry loose sealed records in the long and complicated case of Felix Sater, the businessman at the center of the stock fraud.
The government’s arguments for keeping records sealed — many of them redacted or under seal — have been upheld in rulings by the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn and by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit despite arguments pushing for more transparency from victims’ rights and press groups.
Sater pleaded guilty in 1998 in a racketeering stock “pump and dump” fraud scheme, but his case remained on a secret docket in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, as he cooperated with the government in other investigations, court records show.
The secrecy surrounding the 1998 criminal case allowed Sater to resume “his old tricks” and defraud new victims of hundreds of millions of dollars, Mr. Oberlander charged in a civil racketeering lawsuit he filed against Sater in recent years. An attorney for Sater disputes that account, saying his client has been a “model citizen.”
Mr. Lerner said the Sater case was “no mere aberration,” charging that “Ms. Lynch’s success as a prosecutor has been dependent upon her office’s repudiation of constitutional and statutory law.”
The Supreme Court petition filed by Mr. Lerner of behalf of Mr. Oberlander also details the involvement in the Sater case of two other Justice Department officials — Marshall Miller, principal deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, and Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general in the criminal division.
While attorneys debate Sater’s sentencing deal, two outside groups — the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press and the National Organization for Victim Assistance — have filed briefs in recent years pushing for more transparency in Sater’s case and questioning whether the secrecy has limited public oversight and stifled the voice of victims.
In 2012, two years into Ms. Lynch’s tenure at U.S. attorney, Mr. Cassell filed a separate brief on behalf of the National Organization for Victim Assistance. They argued that Ms. Lynch’s office appeared intent on preventing the public from learning anything about how prosecutors treated crime victims in the case.
The victims’ rights group said it had asked Ms. Lynch’s office whether it followed through on restitution for crime victims as the law requires in the case. The group received no explanation other than a brief email to Mr. Cassell saying the office “complied in all aspects of the law.”
“At this point,” the attorneys argued, “the government is using the alleged sealing orders it may (or may not) have obtained in this case not as a legitimate law enforcement tool but rather as an excuse for obscuring what happened.”
Read the complete article here:http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/4/loretta-lynchs-office-cheated-stock-fraud-victims-/?page=all#pagebreak