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Departing from the Trump administration in a blaze of glory and harsh words for one’s former masters (and, preferably, a book deal) has been the quickest way to go from sworn enemy of what is good and right and decent to a perceived champion thereof, whatever one’s former crimes against the republic and its citizens. So it was with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, who caused enough of a fuss on his way out to earn the title Hero of the Pearl-Clutching Moderate Left and ensure that, whatever threats against it Attorney General Bill Barr made, he’ll have a perfectly lucrative and secure career in retirement from federal service. It’s no matter that it seems—even in his own words—that Berman was pushed out not because of his prosecution of the president’s former lawyer or in an effort to obstruct the investigation into the president’s current lawyer (who after all happens to be a former law partner of one Geoffrey Berman), but in a typically Trumpian hamfisted effort to find a new job for a presidential golfing buddy without actually checking with all parties involved. Nor does it matter that Berman was Trump’s handpicked choice (not that he ever bothered to get around to actually nominating him) to replace another fired Manhattan U.S. Attorney, one who probably did actually pose a threat to the corruption and graft and self-dealing that Trump was planning, to the extent that one can call anything the president does “planned.”

This reverse Midas touch also has a handy way of obscuring the fact—also irrelevant to their firings—that such people are often as incompetent and inept as the president himself. And so it is with the now-sainted Berman, whose office was apparently either so unable to perform even the basic legal obligation of discovery or so infected by the ideas of Trump and Barr as to assume it did not have to disclose anything it didn’t want to that first a convicted violator of Iranian sanctions and now a convicted screwer-overer of another reformed Trumpkin may go free.

A federal judge in Manhattan demanded answers from prosecutors after a hedge-fund founder and trader convicted of mismarking securities produced documents they say show the government concealed evidence that might have cleared them…. Earlier this month, defense attorneys for the two men said documents they recently uncovered through a Freedom of Information Act request show that one of the government’s key cooperating witnesses read an allocution, or sworn statement of facts, when he pleaded guilty to a role in the scheme that was virtually identical to one drafted by prosecutors….

“We are entitled to know what else is out there,” Richard Tarlowe, an attorney for Ahuja, told the judge during a conference on Friday. “The emails do quite clearly in our view show that there was a deliberate effort taken to avoid putting things in emails to avoid disclosing them.”

Hedge-Fund Case Could Prove Fresh Black Eye for U.S. Prosecutors [Bloomberg]


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Jay Clayton’s Homecoming Plans Hit A Snag

A prestigious job he’s not qualified for may not be in the cards, but hey: At least it’s incompetence and not corruption.


Prosecutors Sorry About Sending Defense Only A First Draft, Would Like To Keep Their Convictions, Please

Sure, the final version was way more damning to the hedge fund managers it helped send to jail, but, like, pretty please?

By Beyond My Ken (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Was Everyone At The SDNY Sick The Day They Taught Discovery At Law School?

There is a pattern developing, and not a good one if the Justice Department ever wants another Wall Street fraud conviction to stick.


Prosecutors Pretty Sure You Can’t Lose Your Banks $10 Billion Legally

Which is bad news for Bill Hwang and the Archegos crew.

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SEC, Which Saw No Evidence Of Hedge Fund’s Fraud At First Glance, Sues Hedge Fund For Fraud

TCA Fund Management preferred the old, lazy, whistleblower-hating SEC.

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Nassau County Is A Hotbed Of Fraud And We Couldn’t Be Prouder

From meat mislabeling to a guy named Heckler cold-calling Ponzi scheme victims, it’s been a delightful month on Long Island.