UPDATE: Wednesday: U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled against the defense request to suppress evidence.
By Allan Lengel
Former U.S. Atty. Roscoe C. Howard Jr.
A former D.C. U.S. Attorney is accusing the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office of illegally obtaining documents in a major bank fraud trial in Brooklyn involving a Democratic fundraiser, and then lying about it. He’s also accusing the government of allegedly introducing bogus documents that an FBI informant created.
Roscoe C. Howard Jr., the former U.S. Attorney, who is representing Democratic fundraiser Courtney Dupree, raised the allegations in a Dec. 21 letter filed in court and addressed to presiding U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto. Trial began Dec. 5 and the defense is presenting its case this week.
Howard, a D.C. lawyer with the firm Andrews Kurth, who served as U.S. Attorney under President Bush, is asking that the Brooklyn judge to suppress evidence illegally obtained.
The FBI in New York and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn did not immediately return phone calls Tuesday morning from ticklethewire.com for comment.
The allegations of wrongdoing have flown under the radar of the New York media, which has showed more interest in ex-Green Bay Packer running back Dorsey Levens testifying in trial as a character witness for Dupree. Robert Holland, ex-CEO of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, also testified as a character witness.
At the heart of the case is the Long Island-, GDC Acquisitions, a holding of company, of which Dupree is the CEO. Dupree is charged with grossly overstating the billings to fraudulently obtain a $21 million loan from Amalgamated Bank.
The case began to take form when an employee of GDC, Emilio Serrano, went to the FBI to complain about financial shenanigans. The FBI claims that Serrano came in hand with all the documents for the case.
Howard contends in his letter to the judge, that after Serrano’s initial meeting with FBI agent Gavin Shea in May 2010, the agent directed him to collect more documents from the company. Howard contends that the since Serrano was then acting as an agent for the FBI, the FBI needed to obtain a search warrant after the initial meeting. No search warrant was obtained.
The FBI has contended that Serrano came with all the documents and did not collect anything after that first meeting.
Howard claims in the letter that the government is lying.
In fact, he writes that Serrano testified during cross examination that he collected documents after his first meeting with the FBI , an admission which “contradicts the government’s repeated representations to the Court and defense counsel that Serrano had obrained all the documents before he approached the FBI.”
“Further cross-examination (of Serrano) revealed that not only had Serrano taken documents from GDC after meeting with Agent Shea, he actually created false financial records, which the government has introduced at trial, in an effort to curry favor with the government,” Howard wrote.