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Best & Brightest
Politically-motivated prosecution - Dirty Trials
Federal prosecutors, under the direction of the notably political U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, may have had full knowledge of the fact that they were prosecuting an unremittingly political case, based on the fact that Who's Who Worldwide was earning many milions of dollars per year that Reed Elsevier demanded for it's own Dutch-based bank accounts. It is a matter of record that the prosecution knowingly withheld and/or altered exculpatory evidence against the so-called "Who's Who-ers".
Just imagine: the lack of evidence was such a gaping hole in their entire premise of prosecution, they literally hired convicted swindlers. The deal was simple: "You are a multi-million dollar expert swindler. Trap these people into ANY tiny violations you can, and we'll reduce your prison sentence."
Even THEIR Prosecution testimony was measurably more exculpatory than damning. Yet the sitting federal judge, the once and supposedly Honorable Arthur Spatt, still allowed their testimony!
It gets more implausible: several consecutive Prosecution witnesses proceeded to testify factually on behalf of the defense! Still the Honorable Judge Arthur Spatt refused to dismiss the case. Let's edit that last sentence: Still, the Honorable Judge Spatt refused to dismiss the case... again!
He had already dismissed it three years earlier!
Yes, you read that correctly. This same judge had carefully examined Who's Who Worldwide Registry, and its practices, and found it to be well within the bounds of law. Since the Hon. Judge Spatt had long had a reputation for careful scrutiny of the spirit of the law as well as the letter of the law, it is more astonishing to find that an actual trial, one of the longest in American history (top 1%), a trial which presented a wealth of exculpatory evidence, both circumstantial and physical, did not impel him to honorably discharge this case with prejudice. What was the cause of his diametric change, even in the face of so much empirical clarity of innocence?
This case began with simple corporate corruption on the part of the intensely greedy, multi-national publishing juggernaut, Reed Elsevier, and evolved into a most insidious example of prosecutorial politics, complete with private sector rewards for corrupt government officials.
Blackmail in the jury room??!!
Credibility of "the system working" is further reduced when examination of this bizarre case
When a nervous juror entered the courtroom alone of the jurors, in a courtroom with a federal judge, a dozen federal attorneys, a group of defendants, and spectators, and had the courage to tell the Court that people were using improper influence in the jury room, the Court snapped at this literally shaking woman. With uncommon bravado, she insisted that people were making decisions for other people. Again, the Court's voice rose, saying, "Ah! Ah! I don't want to hear it!" and sent her back into the jury room for deliberations. One might think the attorneys would be leaping, hm? Not a peep.
At one point, another juror notified the Court that her Mercedes Benz had been hit and damaged in the courthouse parking lot, and that she was sure the hit and run had been committed by one of the defendants, Annette Haley, with Haley's Mercedes Benz. Never mind that Haley had numerous outside investments; none of the other defendants except the publisher of Who's Who had ever owned a Mercedes. Yet the impression on the jury was clearly significant, more so with a juror carping in every private jury session that a rich defendant's Mercedes had hit and damaged her car, AND had denied it and "Who's going to pay for it?," and.... ... and this does not bode well.
Best & Brightest
After a few days of complaints, and notes to the Court about who she should submit her money claim to, that juror was finally released, long after her damage was done.
When several jurors mouthed literally tearful apologies to defendants and defense counsel after the end of trial, it became clear that jurors had been demonstrably usurped of their authority and lawful obligations, ergo provably against their will. The appropriate word is 'arrogate.' This case is one for the books, indeed.