Month: September 2009

Civil Rights and First Amendment

Maurice Sercarz represented an individual charged with sex trafficking.

S&M Man Tortured by Cyberban

By Zach Haberman
Published June 21, 2005

Glen Marcus, 52, was barred by a Brooklyn magistrate judge from going near a computer following the civil-rights complaint filed against him last month, but his lawyer says Marcus must go online to mount his defense.

Marcus was indicted last week on charges of sex trafficking, forced labor and distributing obscene material for making money off a pay-per-view site featuring graphic photos of victims he’d lure into master-slave relationships and then hold captive, officials said.

The indictment alleges Marcus would torture and mutilate his victims. He pleaded not guilty and his lawyer, Maurice Sercarz, asked Judge Allyne Ross to overturn the magistrate’s decision and allow his client computer access – even if supervised – in order to find saucy sites that could clear his name.

Sercarz said the victims accusing Marcus were actually running their own raunchy Web sites “purely for their own benefits” and his client should be allowed to scour the Web to find those sites.

Civil Rights and First Amendment

Mr. Sercarz, who represented the woman charged with stalking Alec Baldwin, based, in part, on the content of emails, filed a motion arguing that the crime of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree was a violation of the First Amendment.

Corporate Fraud

Roland Riopelle provides legal insight and commentary to the New York Times on high profile white collar crime cases such as the late trading mutual fund case and the prosecution of Richard M. Scrushy, the former chief executive of HealthSouth.

Ex-Broker Acquitted on Most Mutual Fund Charges
By Riva D. Atlas and
Reed Abelson
Published June 10, 2005

“Roland G. Riopelle, a former federal prosecutor who practices law at Sercarz & Riopelle, said Mr. Spitzer was responsible for a sweeping overhaul of the mutual fund industry, through agreements and settlements with executives and companies.

“’He’s accomplished a hell of a lot long before this case went to the jury,’ he said.”

For Scrushy, Vexed Jury Could Still Give Verdict
By Reed Abelson
Published May 30, 2005

A Syle that Connected with Hometown Jurors
By Reed Abelson and John Glater
Published June 29, 2005

“Some lawyers said they thought the strategy might have helped the defense. ‘Those efforts that he [Scrushy] made, going on TV down there in Alabama and all the rest, must have helped him,’ said Roland Riopelle, a former prosecutor and now a partner at Sercarz & Riopelle in New York.”

For Scrushy, Vexed Jury Could Still Give Verdict
By Reed Abelson
Published May 30, 2005

A Syle that Connected with Hometown Jurors
By Reed Abelson and John Glater
Published June 29, 2005

“Some lawyers said they thought the strategy might have helped the defense. ‘Those efforts that he [Scrushy] made, going on TV down there in Alabama and all the rest, must have helped him,’ said Roland Riopelle, a former prosecutor and now a partner at Sercarz & Riopelle in New York.”

Plea Bargain Limits

As the Chairman of the Criminal Advocacy Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Roland Riopelle was asked by Stand Up for What is Right and Just, a non-profit organization aimed at reforming the criminal justice system, and the New York Times to provide expert legal insight into a Department of Justice’s 2003 directive which limited the use of plea bargains in criminal prosecutions.

New Plea Bargain Limits Could Swamp Courts, Experts Say

By Adam Liptak and Eric Lichtblau
Published: Sept. 24, 2003

If Attorney General John Ashcroft’s new directive limiting the use of plea bargains in federal prosecutions were enforced to the letter, legal experts said, the criminal justice system would soon face a crisis.

The directive, which was issued on Monday to all federal prosecutors, requires them to charge defendants with “the most serious, readily provable offense” in every case and, with some exceptions, not to engage in plea negotiations thereafter.

“This clearly gives Attorney General Ashcroft a certain political soapbox he can stand on to say he’s tough on crime and won’t put up with local prosecutors pleading their cases out cheap,” said Roland Riopelle, the chairman of the Criminal Advocacy Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

Multimillion Dollar Marijuana Ring

Maurice Sercarz represented a married couple accused of masterminding a multimillion dollar marijuana ring and was quoted in the media for opposing hours of electronic eavesdropping on his clients by the police.

Lawyer Objects to Pot Ring Wiretap

By David Gurliacci
Published: April 12, 1990

“’This is an extraordinary intrusion into privacy, especially for a case involving marijuana – extraordinary,’ said Maurice Sercarz, a New York City lawyer representing Gregory Antonakos and his wife, Melody.

“’After all, they weren’t suspects in any violent behavior,’ or any sales of hard drugs like cocaine or heroin, Sercarz said. ‘The most intimate conversations between a husband and wife could be overheard.’”

Money Manager to the Stars

Roland Riopelle represented “money manager to the stars,” Dana Giacchetto. Mr. Giacchetto provided financial advice to the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Ben Affleck. In 2001, Mr. Giacchetto was prosecuted for allegedly stealing his celeb clients’ money.

No Mercy for Celeb Money Manager

By Josh Grossbert
Published: Feb. 8, 2001

“Giacchetto’s lawyer, Roland Riopelle, maintained that his client had already burned through the money.

“’There isn’t a pot of gold out there,’ said Riopelle.”

Acquittal in Squawk-Box Case

In Federal Court in Brooklyn, Roland Riopelle secured the acquittal of a day trader alleged to have committed securities fraud in what became known as the “squawk box” case.

6 Former Workers at a Day Trading Firm Are Acquitted
By Jenny Anderson
Published May 11, 2007
“‘There was no clear prohibitions on conduct here,’ said Roland G. Riopelle who represented Robert F. Malin, the president of A.B. Watley.”

Acquittals for Squawk-Box Seven
By Robert E. Kessler
Published May 11, 2007
“Roland Riopelle, the attorney for defendant Robert Malin, 42, of Manhattan, the former head of the firm, said … ‘[t]he government was courageous in bringing the case, the defendants were courageous [in fighting] the case, and the jury was courageous in acquitting them.’”

By Chad Bray
Published May 11, 2007
“Roland Riopelle, a lawyer for Mr. Malin, said the case was a tough one for the government to bring, saying it was the first trial involving charges under the fraud statutes enacted as a result of the Sarbanes-Oaxley legislation.  ‘The jury did the right thing,’ Mr. Riopelle said.”

Acquittal In Front-Running NYSE Case

Maurice Sercarz and Roland Riopelle secured the acquittal of Richard Volpe, in one of the highly publicized NYSE specialist cases.

Volpe Is Acquitted in NYSE Case
By Chad Bray

Front-running prosecutions lack conviction

By Roddy Boyd
Published October 12, 2006

Acquittal of NYPD Detective in Bribery Case

After a two week long trial, Maurice Sercarz won the acquittal of Brian Bartlett, a decorated detective with the NYPD who had been accused of accepting bribes and unlawful gratuities from a local peddler.

By Laura Italiano
Published June 27, 2006

2 Detectives Acquitted in Bribery Case
By Jennifer 8. Lee
Published June 27, 2006

Representation of AIG Executives

Mr. Riopelle represented several AIG Executives in connection with the criminal investigations and class action litigations alleging wrongdoing in the operations at AIG.

None of the individuals represented by Mr. Riopelle was ultimately convicted or required to pay any damages in connection with the claims made against them.

1982 Brink’s Robbery and Murders

In the early 1980’s, Maurice Sercarz’s defense of Eve Rosahn resulted in the dismissal of all criminal charges against her. Miss Rosahn, an alleged member of the radical Weather Underground, was accused of providing the getaway vehicles used in the notorious armed robbery of a Brink’s armored truck which ended with the slaying of three men, including two Nyack police officers, and a loss of $1.6 million.

Charges Against Defendant in Brink’s Holdup Dropped
By Edward Hudson
Published January 29, 1982

“[The District Attorney] said outside the courtroom that the information helpful to Miss Rosahn’s case provided by her defense lawyer was gained in ‘dozens and dozens of hours of interviews of witnesses’ whom the defense supplied. All of this, he said, ‘convinced me she did not rent the van.

“Judge Miller ordered the indictment dismissed after a brief hearing attended by Miss Rosahn’s Attorney, Maurice Sercarz.”

More Brink’s Charges Dropped
By R. Clinton Taplin
Published January 29, 1982

“’The circumstantial evidence, the eyewitness, and the handwriting show that Ms. Rosahn was not at the car rental that morning,’ said Ms. Rosahn’s attorney, Maurice Sercarz. ‘I think justice was done.’”

The Martha Stewart Trial

Roland Riopelle was extensively quoted in the New York Times providing legal insight during the prosecution and trial of Martha Stewart.

Stewart’s Celebrity Created Magnet for Scrutiny

By Jonathan D. Glater
Published: March 7, 2004

“Prosecuting someone famous can help to change behavior, though, and appeals to prosecutors seeking favorable media attention, said Roland Riopelle, a former federal prosecutor who practices at Sercarz & Riopelle in New York.

“’The government is in many cases quicker to pull the trigger on a public figure than a private citizen, and I think Martha Stewart was a victim of that,’ Mr. Riopelle said. ‘The truth is, quite honestly, it’s all more exciting and it creates all the more press.’

“As a result, he concluded, ‘They’re more likely to charge a prominent person for a piddly crime than they are an ordinary Joe.’”

Political Corruption

Roland Riopelle represented a defendant in the 2004 trial of former New York State Labor Commissioner James McGowan in which Mr. Riopelle defended against the government’s allegations of political power playing, mail fraud, conspiracy, and bribery. Mr. Riopelle’s opening statement in which he “assailed” a cooperating witness was quoted in the Journal News.

Fraud Trial Begins

By Timothy O’Conner
Published April 22, 2004

“Segreti’s lawyer, Roland Riopelle, assailed Harnisch during opening arguments, saying he had cut a deal with the government to save himself. Harnisch, he said has a history of getting caught committing crime and then bailing himself out by point fingers at others.

“’Mr. Harnisch is a career criminal hiding behind the protection of a law license and a deal with the government,’ he said.”

Purported Organized Crime and Consumer Fraud

Maurice Sercarz was quoted in the New York Times and a series of articles in the Village Voice by Tom Robbins in connection with Mr. Sercarz’s representation of the lead defendant in a multi-defendant case in which the government alleged that purported members of the Gambino Crime Family bilked consumers of hundreds of millions dollars in scams involving pornographic internet websites and 1-900 telephone services.

Mob is Accused of Bilking Consumers of $200 Million
By William K. Rashbaum

“Maurice H. Sercarz, said yesterday that he had not yet seen the indictment because his client will not be arraigned until next week. ‘From what we know, this is a patchwork of old allegations, none of which are true, and we look forward to an early trial date and quick exoneration …,’ he said.”

John Gotti’s Crew Makes a High-Tech Killing
Cyber-Age Goodfellas

By Tom Robbins
Published February 18-24, 2004

“’The only cramming going on in this case is that the government has taken two civil investigations in disparate industries and they are cramming this case into the structure of an organized crime indictment,’ said Maurice Sercarz.”

Medicaid Fraud

Maurice Sercarz represented a father, who along with his two sons, was accused in the late 1980’s of participating in the “largest Medicaid fraud in history.”

Kidnapping Charges against Mother

After a weeklong trial, Maurice Sercarz won the acquittal of Hyala Eller, a 35-year-old schoolteacher, who was the first woman to be criminally prosecuted for “kidnapping” her own children.

Mother, 35, Acquitted of ‘Kidnapping’ Sons in Custody of Father
By Max. H. Siegel
Published: November 16, 1978

“Maurice H. Sercarz, a Legal Aid Society lawyer who won Mrs. Eller’s acquittal Tuesday night after a weeklong trial, said his client had told him she had run off with her children in frustration over the long delays her efforts to regain custody were encountering in the courts.”

Find Mother Not Guilty in Custody Kidnapping
By Robert Lane
Published: November 16, 1978

“At her trial, the woman’s attorney, Maurice H. Sercarz, said his client had chosen to flee because she felt she had been wrongfully denied custody …”

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