Money Laundering, a.k.a. Representing Your Client Too Well

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This week a federal judge reversed the money laundering conviction of Gary, Indiana, attorney Jerry Jarrett, concluding that the government had vindictively prosecuted him on trumped-up charges after he represented a client too well. The client in question, Gary physician Jong Hi Bek, is on trial in federal court for drug distribution and health care fraud, based on allegations that he knowingly wrote inappropriate painkiller prescriptions. In 2003 Jarrett embarrassed local prosecutors by forcing them to withdraw murder charges against Bek that were tied to the deaths of two patients. (It turned out that one patient probably died of a heroin overdose, while the other had a heart attack.) Now one of those local prosecutors, Susan Collins, is an assistant U.S. attorney handling the federal case against Bek.

After unsuccessfully seeking to have Jarrett removed as Bek's defense attorney, federal prosecutors forced him off the case by charging him with money laundering, based on what U.S. District Judge William Lee viewed as transparently false testimony. Lee said the main prosecution witness, a convicted money launderer named Gregory Goode, "ranks as one of the worst witnesses to ever take the stand on the governmen's behalf. Jarrett, during his cross-examination of Goode, fully displayed that Goode is an absolute liar and will say whatever benefits him at the moment."

As Jarett Decker showed in the June 2004 issue of Reason, this sort of retaliatory prosecution is part of a pattern at the Justice Department.

[Thanks to Siobhan Reynolds for the link.]

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  1. How soon before “Justice Department” officially becomes an oxymoron?

  2. I wonder if, as an attorney, Susan Collins has heard of a little thing called conflict of interest?

  3. SPD – when was it created again?

    TP – that doesn’t matter when you’re vanquishing evil.

    How ‘normal’ folks can’t see how messed up the WoD is when reading about things like this is beyond me. I guess the paternal/maternal instinct is just too strong.

  4. Lowdog,

    To answer your question: Most people are freaking idiots!

    Maternal/paternal instinct has little to do with it except that it makes barely rational people even more animal-like.

    It’s pretty simple, really. The most important things to the masses are (in no particular order):

    1) Sex
    2) Food
    3) Offspring
    4) Superstition
    5) Comfort

    All but superstition are the primary concerns of non-human mammals. If most people weren’t stupid animals, things like knowledge, wisdom, and enlightenment would be on this list, but they aren’t. Most humans are little more than somewhat intelligent beasts, and beasts will be beasts. People are stupid. This explains most of the bullshit in the world.

  5. Yawn.

    The news in this story is that the prosecutors actually got called on it. Too often, Judges are ex-prosecutors, and think that they are still “part of the team” cleaning up the streets.

    Hurray for Judge Lee, who actually takes his job seriously. (it’s sad that I have to celebrate that)

  6. So does this mean that Judge Lee is next on the target list?

  7. Real Bill:

    Brilliant, dude, brilliant. My cynical self achieved nirvana 🙂

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