Thursday, March 03, 2005

Charles Kushner to be sentenced to prison Friday

4 Comments:

At 5:16 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

1)
http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1109312983115720.xml

Kushner's lawyers meet with judge before sentencing
Friday, February 25, 2005
BY JOHN P. MARTIN
Star-Ledger Staff
Attorneys for Charles Kushner's real estate companies met privately yesterday with federal prosecutors and Kushner's sentencing judge, but the parties refused to discuss the meeting except to say it would not delay next Friday's sentencing.

Kushner, a prominent Livingston developer, philanthropist and political donor, faces between 18 months and 24 months in prison after pleading guilty last August to tax violations, fraud and retaliating against an FBI witness.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares agreed last month to postpone the sentencing after prosecutors complained that Kushner Cos. had failed to surrender thousands of documents to federal investigators who continue to examine the firms' activities.

Kushner stepped down as president of the partnership companies after his guilty plea, but his influence there remains a matter of dispute.

Sources said the U.S. Attorney's Office had contended that Kushner was a force behind the delay in getting documents, and prosecutors had threatened to challenge the provision in his plea deal that gave him credit for accepting responsibility in his case. Such a move could add nine months to Kushner's prison term.

The dispute seemed to be the same one that drew the lawyers to Linares' courtroom again yesterday. The judge ordered two reporters and Kushner's defense attorneys to leave the courtroom, then met for an hour with prosecutors and the attorneys that Kushner Cos. had hired to help it comply with federal subpoenas.

When they emerged, the parties were mum.

Larry Horn, one of the attorneys representing the development companies, spoke briefly with Kushner's defense attorneys, Benjamin Brafman and Jeffrey Smith, then told the reporters: "Because it's a grand jury matter, it would be inappropriate for me to say anything about what transpired in the hearing before Judge Linares."

Asked to comment, Brafman said, "We're just pleased that the sentencing is going ahead as scheduled."

The prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorneys James Nobile, Scott Resnik and Thomas Eicher, left without commenting.

In his plea, Kushner admitted cheating on his taxes and hiding illegal campaign donations by making them in the names of his business partners. He also acknowledged that he lured a cooperating FBI informant -- his sister's husband -- into a videotaped tryst with a prostitute and then sent a tape of the encounter to his sister.

Kushner, 50, whose companies own or manage $3 billion worth of property, was a generous Democratic Party donor in the past decade and the largest single contributor for former Gov. James E. McGreevey. He also was a philanthropist, and his attorneys filed hundreds of letters to the judge from people who say they benefited from his generosity.

John P. Martin covers federal courts and law enforcement. He can be reached at jmartin@starled ger.com or (973) 622-3405.

2) Kusher supporter indicted

http://www.njherald.com/news/newspro/viewnews.cgi?newsid1109257868,28496,

Cart indicted
Posted Thursday, February 24, 2005 by Webmaster

Ex-Democratic Party chairman allegedly embezzled from union
By BRENDAN BERLS
and LYNN OLANOFF
Herald Staff Writers
A federal grand jury on Wednesday handed up an indictment charging Sussex County’s former Democratic Party boss, his stepfather and another man with embezzling $284,000 in health and other union funds from a now-defunct union local that the party boss founded and once ran.
The five-count indictment charges Charles W. Cart and his stepfather, Charles H. Wiener, with conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering in a scheme that drove the United Service Workers Local 16 to bankruptcy. A third man, Marvin Raphael, is also charged with conspiracy to embezzle from the union.
The charges make no mention of Cart’s conduct during his 12-year tenure as chairman of the Sussex County Democratic Party, a position he resigned in November.

Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark, said Cart has not yet been arrested. He will appear in court sometime in the next 10 days to be arraigned, at which time the judge will set bail.

If convicted of money laundering, the most serious charge, Cart faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $500,000 fine.
Cart’s lawyer, Alfred C. DeCotiis of Teaneck, said his client “feels confident that, when all the evidence is presented, he will be exonerated. He would like to get this before a jury as quickly as possible.”
DeCotiis is a member of the Democratic National Committee and a senior partner in the politically-influential firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Wisler. He defended Democratic fund-raiser and developer Charles Kushner in his recent guilty plea to tax fraud and witness retaliation charges.
Most Sussex County politicians were surprised by the charges filed against Cart, though some members of both parties said they had heard rumors of such allegations.
Current county party Chairman Howard Burrell said he was “shocked” by the charges against Cart when told about them Wednesday afternoon.
“He most certainly never discussed anything with me and I can understand why,” Burrell said.
Burrell called the charges “unfortunate,” saying they only add to the negative reputation of New Jersey politicians.
“All these things here add up to cause people not to have faith and confidence in us,” he said.
Harry Dunleavy, an original investor and shareholder in Cart’s company, Health Choice Inc., of Newton, and a former active member of the county Democratic Party, said he was saddened to hear of the charges.
“He was a good friend of mine, a good neighbor. Being indicted doesn’t mean anyone is guilty,” Dunleavy said. “I hope the case against him is dismissed.”
According to the indictment, Cart, 56, of Hampton, founded the Local 16 in 1993 and served as its president for three years before leaving to create Health Choice Inc., a Newton-based firm that administered the union’s health claims.
Weiner, of New Port Richey, Fla., succeeded Cart as president and in 1999 was succeeded in turn by Susan Donato, of St. Cloud, Fla. Both are former Sussex County residents.
Donato, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to embezzle from the health fund last month and is cooperating with the investigation, federal prosecutors said.
Cart and Wiener are accused of generating cash from the health fund by fraudulently increasing the per-member fee paid to Health Choice, which processed the union’s health claims. The excess payments were then allegedly diverted to Weiner and another member of the Cart family — referred to only as “Other Family Member” — who is not charged in the indictment.
Between May 2000 and November 2001, about $144,000 in checks were mailed by Health Choice to another company — “Company-1” in the indictment — to pay fees Company-1 had purportedly incurred on behalf of the union.
In truth, prosecutors said, Company-1 had performed no such services and was being used merely as a conduit to transfer the money to Weiner, Cart’s stepfather.
In another alleged conspiracy with Raphael and Donato, Cart created a bogus consulting position for Raphael, who collected $84,000 from the union between August 2000 and July 2001 for services he never provided. He allegedly kept $7,000 per month while passing $56,000 on to Cart — either directly or through Cart’s Hampton horse farm, Horsearound Stables.
The embezzlement scheme contributed to the union’s demise, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Local 16 — which counted area factory workers, auto mechanics, salespersons and other service employees as members — declared bankruptcy and effectively ceased to exist in November 2001.

THE CHARGES AGAINST CART
From the federal indictment handed down Wednesday in Newark against Hampton resident Charles W. Cart:

Count 1
Conspiracy to embezzle from Local 16 Health Fund
Penalty: Carries a maximum 5 years in prison, $250,000 fine and restitution to the fund
Count 2
Conspiracy to embezzle from the Local 16 union
Penalty: Carries a maximum five years in prison, $250,000 fine and restitution to the union

Counts 3 and 4
Mail fraud, for allegedly diverting money by sending monthly checks to two companies

Penalty: Each count carries a maximum 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine

Count 5
Money laundering
Penalty: Carries a maximum 20 years in prison, $500,000 fine

 
At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how many friends of Saul Berman are criminals? Kushner, Gafni, who else?

 
At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about Gafni, he's scheduled to speak at Harvard Law School in June. Wonder if they think he's a Oxford Scholar?

********
Harvard Contact Information:
Please send questions and comments to Cristin Martineau at cmartin@law.harvard.edu or call (617) 495-7711

----------------------------
Harvard Negotiation Insight Initiative
Summer Learning Forum

June 20-24, 2005
Harvard Law School
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Workshops with
Leonard Riskin and Melissa Blacker,
Jack Himmelstein and Norman Fischer, and Erica Fox and Marc Gafni
https://www.pon.harvard.edu/research/hnii/june05_intro.php3

This program is in cooperation with
The American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section

 
At 7:03 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

http://www.nynewsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/ny-bc-nj--contributorcharge0303mar03,0,4381873.story?coll=ny-region-apnewjersey

Court suspends law license of troubled Democratic contributor
By MATT SMITH
Associated Press Writer
March 3, 2005, 5:30 PM EST

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A midlevel state appeals court Thursday suspended the New York law license of a major New Jersey Democratic Party contributor who pleaded guilty last year to witness tampering and tax charges.

Charles B. Kushner will be prohibited from practicing law in New York under the decision by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court. The motion to suspend Kushner's license was made by the state's Committee on Professional Standards.

Kushner is to be sentenced Friday in federal court in New Jersey for using a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law who was a witness in a federal probe that focused on Kushner's donations and business.

Kushner pleaded guilty in August to the witness tampering charge. In doing so, he also admitted sending a tape of the seduction to the man's wife _ Kushner's sister.

Kushner pleaded guilty as well to campaign finance violations and 16 counts of filing false tax returns for various partnerships affiliated with his company, avoiding up to $325,000 in taxes.

Since 1997, Kushner gave more than $1 million to Democrats and was the top donor to former New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey's successful gubernatorial campaign. The married McGreevey, whose administration was mired in its own scandals, resigned in November after admitting to a homosexual affair.

Kushner also donated funds in the past to New York Democrats, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and state Comptroller Alan Hevesi.

Kushner, 50, has been free on $5 million bail pending sentencing. He faces between 18 and 33 months in prison.

Following his guilty plea, Kushner resigned as chairman of The Kushner Companies, a firm valued at more than $1 billion that owns or manages 20,000 apartments in New Jersey and several other states. The company also builds new homes and has commercial properties throughout New York and New Jersey.

A call Kushner's attorney Robert Ray was not immediately returned.

 

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