* * The Spoils of Court Court Corruption * *
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California February 26, 2005
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______________________________________________________The Spoils of Court CorruptionOne of the most unthinkable evils is that judges in America are on the take. While unofficial, it has been estimated that approximately 30% of the cases are fixed somehow, and not necessarily by cash bribes. Bribes come in many forms, including vacationing judges by lawfirms and parties to a case, gifts, and campaign donations, etc.Below is an account fingering a New York Supreme Court Justice for accepting bribes to fix cases. Would it shock you to know that the identifed and exposed bribery in our judicial system covers but the tip of the iceberg?How would JAIL4Judges cure this problem? It is not necessary to catch every instance of bribery involving judges to cut this activity short. J.A.I.L. does not concern itself with bribery, but rather acting on the bribery. For instance, if a judge is offered a bribe, and he accepts it, the enity or person offering the bribe will expect performance by the judge for the bribe. But when the judge goes to pervert justice by denying due process, or refusing to acknowledge the applicable law or constitutional principle, he runs the high risk that the case will be appealled to its last resort within the State, qualifying the party to bring the questions of lack of due process or willful violations of law before the J.A.I.L. Special Grand Jury.In such case, the question of the judicial bribery is not at issue, but rather the action of the judge regardless of the bribe. When judges no longer will risk their career and their retirement for a bribe, they will no longer act on the bribe. And when judges no longer act on bribes, those who bribe them will cut off the spigot. JAIL4Judges is the only answer! -Ron Branson
February 24, 2005
Brooklyn Corruption Figure Admits He Arranged Bribes
By MICHAEL BRICK
The central figure in the wide-ranging investigation of judicial and political
corruption in Brooklyn, a man accused of arranging bribes in divorce and
child custody cases for people in the borough's Orthodox Jewish communities, pleaded guilty yesterday to 13 counts of bribery and conspiracy.
The man, an electronics dealer named Nissim Elmann, admitted passing
thousands of dollars to a lawyer to arrange preferential treatment in cases
before a State Supreme Court justice, Gerald P. Garson. Justice Garson has
been suspended from the bench and is awaiting trial on bribery charges.
The investigation into dealings by Justice Garson, a former treasurer of the
Brooklyn Democratic organization, has spilled over into a conspiracy inquiry involving the judicial nominating system and taking aim at, among others, the Brooklyn Democratic Party leader, State Assemblyman Clarence Norman Jr.
Prosecutors portrayed Mr. Elmann as a fixer, a known figure in Orthodox
communities who accepted cash through the window of his car or inside a
warehouse and passed it to a former lawyer who had an advantage in Justice
The former lawyer, Paul Siminovsky, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of giving unlawful gratuities last year, after wearing a hidden microphone at the direction of the office of Charles J. Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney.
Jury selection had been scheduled to begin yesterday in the case against Mr.
Elmann, and his guilty plea came as a surprise to prosecutors, who had
requested electronic gear for the courtroom to play tapes of 110 telephone
calls and dozens of other conversations.
"He is not cooperating, nor have we asked him to cooperate with us,"
Assistant District Attorney Noel Downey said. "The D.A.'s office came to
play ball, and he backed down."
In State Supreme Court in Brooklyn yesterday, Justice Jeffrey C. Berry read
through the counts aloud in a meticulous monotone, noting the legal language and asking in plain terms if Mr. Elmann understood the charges. "You knew this conduct was illegal?" Justice Berry asked repeatedly, and repeatedly Mr. Elmann replied that he had.
In all, Mr. Elmann agreed to guilty pleas to seven felonies and six
misdemeanors. Justice Berry ordered a presentence investigation and
indicated that the sentence would probably amount to between one and a half and seven years in prison.
Mr. Downey, the Brooklyn prosecutor, described the guilty pleas as "a
telling event, because it supports the massive investigation undertaken by
District Attorney Hynes and the Rackets Division in uncovering the vast
corruption scheme that was unleashed on the matrimonial courts of Brooklyn."
Gerald J. McMahon, a lawyer for Mr. Elmann, said that his client chose to
plead guilty in part to spare his family the stress of a trial (Mr. Elmann
did not appear to have any family members in the courtroom) and in the hope that Justice Berry would hand out sentences "in a proportional way."
His comment was a sidelong reference to the open cases against several other people, including Justice Garson. Justice Berry has set a status hearing for May 26 involving several of the defendants in the intertwined
Mr. McMahon described Mr. Elmann as someone pressured by his community to gain access to the spoils of corruption.
"He tried to help people, and he was pushed by people in his shul,
especially David Cohen," Mr. McMahon said, referring to a rabbi in Midwood. "It was almost a religious obligation, and Mr. Elmann was a seriously religious person."
Reached by telephone, Rabbi Cohen, who Mr. McMahon said had been on his witness list, declined to comment.
In court, Mr. Elmann passed up an opportunity to blame his rabbi or his
community. After he finished pleading to the charges, Justice Berry asked
him, "Nobody threatened, forced or coerced you to do these acts?"
"No," Mr. Elmann said.J.A.I.L.- Judicial Accountability Initiative Law - www.jail4judges.org
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