U.S. Attorney Alan Vinegrad
Eastern District of New York
1 Pierrepont Plaza, 15th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Re:Emmerich Handler, Rita Handler, Samuel Roth, et al.
"LAWYERS' COMMITTEE ON ETHICS ASSISTS IN FRAUD
Dear Mr. Vinegrad:
I write to report to you certain events which I respectfully submit will lead you to the conclusion that I have been and continue to be the victim of acts of extortion expressly undertaken to compel me to abandon my just claims against Emmerich Handler and his associates, including attorneys. This sordid story involves multiple instances of perjury, mail and wire fraud, extortion and influence. The sworn confession of a Handler associate as to the fraudulent nature of Handler's conduct and the corroborating testimony of an FBI Agent was inexplicably ignored by a State Court Judge. A review of the within material (for which I have documentary evidence) might very well result in your visualizing a headline: "LAWYERS' COMMITTEE ON ETHICS ASSISTS IN FRAUD COVER UP!"
Some time during the year 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Robert P. Patterson, Jr. of the Southern District of New York, referred the above matter to you for criminal investigation. Numerous findings had been made by Judge Patterson to the effect that Emmerich Handler had submitted false sworn statements to the court; that an alleged transfer of an interest in a
multi-million dollar property to a charitable organization was proven false; that Handler had parked assets with his partner and family in order to avoid payment of judgments, including funds owed to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC"); consequently, the financial statements that Handler had submitted to the FDIC were false and the loan documents
submitted to Columbia Bank, a federally insured bank, were also false. Thus, the FDIC was defrauded of up to $5 Million and I was defrauded by Handler of several million dollars. Additionally, Judge Richard Bohanan of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York found that Samuel Roth (Handler's partner) knowingly filed a false claim in connection with one or two of seven Handler instigated bankruptcies. Roth also maintained a
secret account under the name of a yet second charitable organization.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of Handler's and Roth's criminal activities, the referral to you by Judge Patterson and the federal government's loss of millions of dollars, it appears that your office closed the case without interviewing material witnesses. People who are familiar with this matter are mystified that your office did not fully investigate this matter nor seek any
indictments of the persons involved.
An investigation by my office has revealed that at the time that Judge Patterson seemed to impress Handler with the prospect of his going to jail with his aidors and abettors, Handler retained prominent and well connected criminal defense law firms to represent him in what he obviously understood would be an imminent criminal prosecution. Handler's criminal defense team (Handler's "Dream Team") thereupon preemptively authored and filed disciplinary charges against me with the Grievance Committee for the Second and Eleventh Judicial District in order to discredit me and minimize the consequences that Handler and his associates would face when the Office of the U.S. Attorney would be provided with massive evidence of the various frauds committed by Handler and his associates. Consequently, contrary to what Judge Patterson stated that the perpetrators were "going to pay a price"; it is I, their victim who is being asked to "pay a price".
One might ask, "How and why was it that the Office of the U.S. Attorney did not pursue this matter?" In contrast, your office recently sought and obtained indictments of one Patrick C. Williams on charges that he conspired to help people obtain mortgage loans through fraudulent documents, inflating their incomes. The amounts involved in the Williams case are miniscule
compared to the amounts involved in the Handler/Roth matter. Fraudulent documents were submitted to the FDIC and to the federally insured bank. Similarly, a number of years ago your office brought charges against State Senator Melvin Miller-in a matter in which there was no loss to anyone. What was alleged was that he participated in a matter in which there was a
conflict of interest (his conviction was subsequently overturned by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals). In many reported cases your office has sought indictments on relatively minor amounts and/or strictly technical transgressions. Why is this case different from all other cases?
Handler retained Andrew Maloney, a former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Silberberg, a firm that primarily consists of former Assistant U.S. Attorneys. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton ("CGS&H") which describes itself as one of the most prestigious firms in the nation and which firm was demonstrated by me
to have been a participant in the underlying fraud had retained former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum who shortly thereafter became "acting Attorney General of the United States." In that underlying case Handler claimed that he owned (jointly with the charitable organization) 48% of a real estate corporation. The State Court Judge awarded Handler 100% of
the corporation-thus, exonerating CGS&H of its participation in the Handler scheme. Handler also retained the firm of Gentile Brotman Maltz & Benjamin. Mr. Michael Gentile of that firm was former counsel to the Grievance Committee in New York City. Additionally, Mr. Handler retained the firm of LaRossa & Ross, former Assistant U.S. Attorneys, another criminal defense firm. Mr. Ross has chaired the Committee on criminal advocacy in the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Mr. Handler and his partner, Samuel Roth, although they have clearly conflicting interests and conflicted stories, are currently being represented by Mel Barkan, Esq. of Brauner Baron Rosenzweig & Klein. Mr. Barkan was formerly an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chairman of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.1 It would appear that your office has been a "training camp" for criminal defense counsel who later represent the very criminals your office may have otherwise decided to pursue.
The level and intensity of the proceedings against me by the Grievance Committee bore a direct correlation to Judge Patterson's escalating challenges to the (mis)conduct of Mr. Handler and his attorneys. In a dramatic and telling departure from the express and established practices of the Grievance Committee not to process any disciplinary complaints while litigation is pending between any complainant and the attorney complained of, the Grievance Committee in this instance proceeded to hold a "hearing" while the litigation was still pending. The appeal had not yet been calendared and, of course, not heard. It is significant that two Grievance Committee counsels showed up in the Appellate Division when the subject appeal was argued. Additionally, counsel for the Grievance Committee, in an extraordinary and unprecedented move, sua sponte (at his own initiative) supplemented the Handler complaint with additional charges. The charges" brought against me have no precedent whatsoever, either substantively or procedurally in the jurisprudence of the State of New York! Not one single attorney has ever been subjected to the kind of charges brought by the Grievance Committee in this matter.
Perhaps even more shocking, but no longer surprising in view of the facts disclosed in this matter, is that Grievance Committee Deputy Counsel Robert Saltzman, Esq., Emmerich Handler attorney Michael Ross, Esq. and Richard Maltz, Esq., a partner with Emmerich Handler's attorney Susan Brotman, Esq. in the firm Gentile Brotman Maltz & Benjamin, LLP were all
contemporaneously members of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Professional Discipline.
Michael Ross, Esq. twice wrote to Robert Saltzman's Grievance Committee co-counsel on this case, Susan Korenberg, Esq., on behalf of his client Emmerich Handler urging the Grievance Committee to take action against me. Similarly, Susan Brotman, Esq. wrote to Grievance Committee Chief Counsel Diana Maxfield-Kearse, Esq. on behalf of client Emmerich Handler
urging the Committee to expedite this matter in order to ensure that "Mr. Handler, who is 79 years old and in poor health" and who "is available to testify to factors in aggravation of Mr. Weinstock's conduct", could testify.
Despite Emmerich Handler's presence at the hearing in mitigation, at which more than 300 of my clients were present to express their outrage at the proceedings and despite my challenge to Mr. Saltzman to put Mr. Handler on the stand, Emmerich Handler did not testify at the hearing in mitigation.
Both Ms. Brotman and Mr. Ross thought fit to enclose with their letters to the Grievance Committee copies of letters I had sent to Judge Robert P. Patterson, Jr., addressing the criminal conduct of their client Emmerich Handler and summarizing the findings of such conduct actually made by Judge Patterson.
These events highlight the selective and improperly motivated nature of the charges against me, clearly a pretext for a transparently targeted prosecution designed by the Handler/Roth criminal defense attorneys to "dissuade" me from continuing to expose the frauds perpetrated by Handler/Roth and their attorneys and their desire to derail the U.S. Attorney's investigation as
ordered by Judge Patterson. The grievances became a "bargaining chip" which the Handler/Roth camp could trade for my silence.
The word "mockery" is woefully inadequate to describe the situation in which the allegedly "impoverished" Handler has been able to finance the retention of so many prominent, well-connected (and expensive) law firms. Just Mr. Barkan has spent at least eleven days in connection with depositions involving a defamation action initiated against me by the "impoverished" Mr. Handler and his partner Samuel Roth.
Diana Parker, Esq. of the Morvillo Abromowitz firm had informed Judge Patterson that she represented Samuel Roth and upon a prior occasion represented Bienenfeld and Wertman (one of the many Handler retained firms). In sworn answers to interrogatories, Diana Parker, Esq. swore in May 1999 that her firm had not performed any services in behalf of Emmerich Handler and Rita Handler involving litigations, arbitrations and administrative proceedings in behalf of Emmerich Handler and/or Rita Handler. We have now discovered evidence that when Ms. Diane Parker, Esq. appeared before Judge Patterson as attorney for Samuel Roth, she was in fact representing Emmerich Handler. Mr. Roth was simply "running interference" for Handler. That is why Diane Parker did not comply with Judge Patterson's Order that she furnish us with the documentation relating to the Roth bank deposits, but instead filed them with the court "under seal." A procedure that was totally unwarranted under Federal Rules. The public can
only view these legal gymnastics as an abomination.
It appears that your office, the Office of the U.S. Attorney, has thus far been successfully diverted by the tactics of Handler's "Dream Team." What it has failed to recognize is that the smear campaign launched against me by Handler's criminal defense lawyers with the assistance of their colleague at the Grievance Committee has been based upon State Court cases in which
George Weisz, Esq., a senior partner of CGS&H, submitted demonstrably false affidavits in order to cover the fraudulent violation of an agreement to which CGS&H was a party. Two senior partners of CGS&H arranged to "secretly" meet with me. At that meeting, they acknowledged their liability and suggested that I settle with them for approximately $1 Million. This was coupled with their suggestion that I pursue Handler for the rest of my loss. The two CGS&H partners then warned me that if I were to reject their proposal, they would turn my life "inside out." I nevertheless rejected their proposal and as they threatened, they have, indeed, turned my life "inside out."
With respect to extortion and obstruction of justice, I respectfully submit the following facts:
- The Grievance Committee counsel clearly suggested to me at the (extraordinarily premature) "hearing" that if I dropped my proceedings against Handler, the complaints (Handler and Walker) pending against me at the Grievance Committee would then "go away". I adamantly refused to succumb to such blackmail.
- I only recently found the letter written by Handler attorney Diana Parker, Esq. to the Grievance Committee with a salutation "Dear Susan" (Susan Korenberg, Esq. being Deputy Counsel to the Committee in July 1998), suggesting, even before I had a hearing at the Offices of the Grievance Committee, that my license to practice law should be indefinitely suspended. As noted above, in May 1999 she had sworn that her firm had not performed any services of that nature on behalf of the Handlers. However, Ms. Parker's letter to the Grievance Committee in behalf of Handler predated her sworn
statement of May 1999. I respectfully submit that it was more than coincidence that counsel for the Grievance Committee placed a telephone call to me requesting that I appear at its offices for a hearing at or about the time that Diana Parker, Esq. wrote to the Committee and suggested that I be indefinitely suspended. It was at that "hearing" that the suggestion was made to me that the Grievance Committee complaint against me would be withdrawn if I were to discontinue my proceedings before Judge Patterson
against Handler. It is both shocking and incredible that on July 8, 1998, before I was even afforded a hearing and before I was charged with any wrongdoing, the Morvillo firm was already suggesting to the Grievance Committee what my punishment should be-the indefinite suspension from the practice of law.
- I further discovered through a Handler deposition, that counsel for the Grievance Committee attempted to "broker" a deal whereby my claims against Handler would be resolved, not in Judge Patterson's court, but rather by a "Din Torah" - a rabbinical tribunal.
- Handler's testimony further revealed that contemporaneously with his filing a Grievance complaint against me, he also filed another grievance against another attorney whom he accused of theft. Allegedly, counsel for the Grievance Committee requested the consent of Handler and his attorneys to defer action against the other attorney because it was short staffed and was concentrating its efforts on the proceedings against me, although I was not being accused of anything as serious as theft. Mr. Handler testified that "we agreed" (that the complaint against Weinstock should take priority). Thus, according to Handler, the Grievance Committee sought the approval of Handler and his attorneys with respect to the management of the grievance
- At that deposition, Handler disclosed that his criminal defense attorneys had provided your office, the Office of the U.S. Attorney, with a "compendium as thick as a Brooklyn telephone book" in a transparent attempt (thus far successful) to paint me in an extremely unflattering light and as a person who is not creditworthy. Significantly, neither the Grievance Committee nor the U.S. Attorney ever notified me that it received such a compendium and never gave me an opportunity to respond.
- Within that time frame, Handler sent emissaries on at least two separate occasions offering to have the complaint to the Grievance Committee withdrawn if I stopped my efforts to enforce my rights before Judge Patterson. I was told in no uncertain terms that if I were to pursue my rights, a number of "innocent" people would be criminally implicated in Handler's criminal conduct. In short, if I would stop my pursuit of my rights the complaints to the Grievance Committee would be withdrawn.
- On another occasion, I was told that if I ceased my pursuit of my rights before Judge Patterson, the complaints filed with the Grievance Committee would be withdrawn and, in addition, I would be paid several hundred thousand dollars. I steadfastly refused to succumb to such blackmail.
- On yet a different occasion, I was "warned" that if I did not stop my pursuit of my rights, one of (the many) Handler's attorneys would fraudulently implicate me in an unrelated criminal matter, which was being handled by their office. In reality it was a threat that I would be framed.
Incidentally, the Handler defamation deposition also disclosed that in 1998 Handler received $80,000.00 from the proceeds of the sale of some of the ZH properties, one of the assets which I assert Handler concealed by hiding same in the name of one Joseph Singer. Handler further revealed that Joseph Singer was "represented" by Handler's attorneys in the acquisition of that asset. Singer has acknowledged that he acted only as a "front" for Handler/Roth. In a show of arrogance, Handler has recently resumed the pursuit of certain assets in which he previously denied any ownership interests.
So that neither the Justice Department nor the courts are treated with disdain and contempt by both litigants and their attorneys, I hope and trust that your office will not merely treat this matter as "closed" but will conduct a proper investigation as to why this serious matter (series of matters) was ignored.
A newspaper, which carried the report of the public hearing, commented:
"Can anybody guess as to why Attorney Weinstock is being persecuted and why Handler who the Federal Court has found to have lied under oath, submitted false statements to the government, concealed millions of dollars to avoid paying the FDIC and other creditors is not being prosecuted? If someone of the caliber of Attorney Weinstock can be mistreated and not get
justice, how can we Hispanics ever expect to be justly treated?" (emphasis added)
Perhaps, considering the fact that some, if not most, of Handler's attorneys have been participants in Handler's fraudulent conduct and were formerly high officials in your office, a proper course might be the designation of a special prosecutor who is not beholden personally or professionally to members of your office. Then, and only then, can the public have confidence
in the integrity of the judicial process.
For more details of the underlying frauds and continuing cover up on the part of Emmerich Handler, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and others, please see my website at www.lawyerfraud.com.
1 Several hours before this letter was sent, the United States Bankruptcy
Court Judge Carla E. Craig disqualified the said firm from representing the