The Office of the Kings County District Attorney (KCDA) is aflood with rumors about an imminent financial scandal involving Ken Thompson. Naturally, the rumors are originating on the 19th and 17th floors of the executive suite and the rackets division, and like all effluent, leaking down. Nice try Hynes loyalists but let’s get real. We all know that if you had good stuff you would have used it before the all-important September Democratic primary. By now, as all realists know, it is over. The only question for bookies is whether Hynes will lose by more or less than Joe Lhota. The campaign is further under-water than beachfront property in the Rockaways or Breezy Point during Sandy or McMansions in Las Vegas.
Nevertheless, these rumors about Thompson’s criminality serve a few purposes. They feed the delusions of the remaining Hynes loyalists who have turned the campaign into a racist drumbeat of allegations that excuse Hynes for breaking his election night promise of a “smooth transition” to Thompson. They also go together nicely with the new, white-ethnic, southern-Brooklyn-strategy of appealing to racists with the idea that the Thompson campaign is all-black, all-corrupt, all-Clarence Norman, all-thug, all-gun runner. It is pathetic how the Schmetterer operation ignores Thompson’s white supporters and cannot criticize a single white associated with Thompson. After I spend too much time reading the stuff that Brad Gerstman and David Schwartz Tweet about me, I need to check myself out in the mirror to be sure I am Caucasian. Brad and David also made like they were the Anti Defamation League and accused Mr. Frum of being insensitive to the holocaust and vile in my anti-Semitic handling of Joe in my Downfall parody. I will not tell you what I checked to be sure I was still Jewish.
The campaign strategy is doomed to fail because people of color outnumber whites in Brooklyn. Every time he wins another vote with his racist innuendos he loses two black votes. Many of his true friends have begged him not to squander his legacy as the man who prosecuted the race-motivated Howard Beach murder. But there are those in his office who pushed him to run on the Republican ticket, including Mary Hughes, Henna White, Michael Vecchione, and Dino Amoroso. Some have speculated that they wanted another two months free of snoopy Thompson transition personnel in which to try and efface some of the traces of their prosecutable misconduct.
Deputy District Attorney Dino Amoroso is probably concerned about prosecutable conduct in the money laundering division. The scam is simple. When doing a plea bargain, exaggerate the “Costs of Prosecution (COP)” which are kept by the Office of the DA in exchange for lesser sentences and fines. The kicker on the deal is violating the law requiring KCDA to report relevant information to the Tax Commission. Tax fraud virtually goes hand-in-hand with money laundering and exposes the defendants to serious financial and criminal liabilities. Naturally, this makes defendants especially amenable to gross overestimates of costs of prosecution. According to a source, John Steffy handled the tax cases along with financial investigator Robert Stahl and ADA Steve Kramer. (Kramer is also alleged to have had a role in seizing the assets of Judge John L. Phillips). They regularly threatened alleged defendants by telling them they would report them to the Tax Commission. The defendants would respond immediately by asking what the office wanted. That is how the DA got the money. There is no record of anything and everyone leaves happy. Not surprisingly, many of the deals filed with the courts conveniently left out the amount charged for costs of prosecution
I am told that according to Dino Amoroso, this last year was ‘a good year’ with profits of four million, ‘but Vecchione and McCarthy could have done better.’ I imagine some ADAs may have gone a step further and pocketed some money for themselves in exchange for “adjusting” the costs of prosecution. I can understand Dino’s distress. That would be wrong. It would be plundering his public treasury.
Folks in money laundering are scared and distancing themselves. ADA Casey Taylor who worked on the financial cases in rackets recently left. Deputy ADA Mike Morelli, Jr. (son of Angelo Morelli in Investigations) formally requested a transfer out of money laundering. He was placed in the Labor Law Bureau. The Bureau’s Chief, Joe McCarthy, was just given an office on the 20th floor and will be in the Health Care Fraud Unit. Going from Chief of Money Laundering to an ADA in Health Care Fraud is not a step up in one’s career. It is probably not due to his afternoon imbibing, since even with time off for health reasons, his career has progressed till now. Toni Lichstein – Deputy Bureau Chief of Money Laundering – has also moved out of the 17th floor.
I think the folks who are scattering are wise. The alternative might be staying around and being maneuvered into covering things up. That can only mean destroying evidence, a crime that would compound their problems. I would hope everyone is smart enough to stay calm. If they are really astute they will start talking to feds, so they can be at the front of the line for the leniencies afforded to cooperating witnesses.