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Jew Haters Be Gone!

I try not to get angry. There are a few reasons for this but I have come to realize than getting angry produces few if any tangible results. However, I am not perfect (shocking, I know) and when I see blatant hatred stemming from ignorance and self righteousness I do get angry. I am not naive. I know anti-semitism exists and have come to accept it. I no longer get angry when I see other races making the most ridiculous and incorrect statements about Jews. I just do not care. However, what does anger me to no end is when I see the same type of anti-Jewish rhetoric coming from within the Jewish community. I am well aware this is completely off topic when compared to my other entries, but I do think that as I write it, a message that transcends religion and the underlying theme of anti semitism will emerge.

Last week I wrote about the release of Rabbi Sholom Rubashkin. I spoke about how happy I was to see him reunited with his family and how in many ways he was a true hero. That is my op…

RUBASHKIN

People are connected. I am not talking about personal relationships with friends and family. Often times we are connected to people we do not even know.  This can be through any sort of medium such a race, religion, professional affiliation of political affiliation. Even though we do not know each other, we are "connected".  As a Jew, I feel connected and sympathize with the plight of another Jew in distress even if I do not know him. The African American community came together to protest what they viewed as widespread discrimination by law enforcement even though 99.9% of those protesting had never even met or heard of the perceived victim.

Life experiences also bond people. There is a bond that exists between those of us who have had the unfortunate experience of going to prison. It is a bond that transcends race and religion. When we can we help one another both inside and outside and always hope for our friends to be released and be successful upon their release from pr…

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth-King Solomon in Our Days

King Solomon at the end of of Ecclesiastes states that in the end, everything is heard. While there have been many Jewish and Christian interpretations to this verse of the past thousands of years, taken at face value, it simply means that nothing stays hidden forever and in the end everything comes out. One has to look any further than the present day to realize that while secrets may remain hidden and while sins may be dormant, ultimately everything comes into view for everyone to see. King Solomon is as right today as he was thousands of years ago when these words were written.

Entertainment, political and athletic icons are falling every day. From Bill Cosby to Charlie Rose, to Al Franken to Matt Lauer to Marshall Faulk, we have seen scions of various sectors go down in blazes of glory in a way not witnessed since in modern history. Sins that have been perpetrated for decades are finally being brought to light. The dirtiest of secrets are being revealed for all to see. Individuals …

Never Let Others Define You

Last week President Trump made an announcement that sent shock waves throughout the Middle East. By announcing the the United States was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and would move the US embassy there, he was, in his own words acknowledging the reality that is already on the ground. The fact that this came as a surprise is itself surprising since this is essentially what he had said he would do throughout his campaign. Whether one likes Trump or hates him the one thing that is clear  is that for better or for worse, he has tried to do follow through on his campaign pledges.

The reaction to the announcement was swift. Trump's supporters, many of which are right of center Jews and Evangelical Christians cheered the announcement while muslims across the Middle East issued statements of strong condemnation and even engaged in engaged in violent protests. The leader of Hamas even called for another Intifada, ignoring the obvious truth that previous intif…

1 DAY. 2 MISTRIALS. 3 ETHNICITIES. A BAD DAY FOR PROSECUTORS

A Jew, a Black and a Hispanic walked out of court yesterday. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it? Well it isn't a joke. It actually happened on November 16, 2017 in New York and New Jersey. In the first case, Senator Bob Menendez, a Cuban walked out of Federal Court when a jury could not reach a verdict on an Honest Services case that took close to 10 weeks. In the second case, Norman Seabrook, an African American and Murray Huberfeld, a Jew, walked out of Federal Court in Manhattan when a jury could not reach a verdict on whether Huberfeld bribed Seabrook, the former head of the prison guard union in New York City, to invest union money in his hedge fund. I cannot remember a time in recent history, when the champagne was corked simultaneously with Hip Hop, Salsa and shouts of L'chaim! in the background. OK, maybe I am injecting a few racial stereotypes here, but you get the point. Yesterday was a bad day for the prosecutors. A very bad day.

I guess because I u…

ANYTHING YOU HAVE WRITTEN CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU

Email is a wonderful tool. It makes business more efficient and allows us to communicate with our friends and family faster. I often marvel that there was a time, not that long ago, that business functioned without the use of email. Once upon a time if a document needed to be executed, it had to be sent via overnight mail to the recipient, and then sent back for a total of two working days. And that was if the recipient actually got it and opened it the day it was received. Now, that entire operation takes all of five minutes. We also communicate via email to iron out business transactions instead of sitting on the phone for hours ironing out those very details. Often times email is simply used to follow up on what was previously discussed on a phone.

One pitfall of our reliance on email is the sheer number of emails contained in our mailbox. In just one of my email accounts, I have 26,946 emails and most of them are from within the last eight years. Keep in mind that I delete a lot o…

The Defendant Is Hereby Remanded To Custody- My First Day In Prison

The marshals will escort the defendant. Scarier words had never been spoke to me.
October 26, 2015. Exactly two years ago today I was sentenced to 30 months (later reduced to 20) in prison. As luck would have it, I was blessed with a judge who does not believe in voluntary surrender. In other words instead of arriving at a prison camp like 90% of those who plead guilty to a white collar felony, I was escorted by the US Marshals service from the courtroom in front of family and friends who had come to support me. Not exactly my finest moment.

In many ways it is a day that I will never forget yet, paradoxically, my memory of that day is more dream like as though I was watching a Broadway show as a member of the audience when in reality I was the star. Even now, two years later it seems as though my sentencing hearing was yesterday and not so long ago. Ultimately, I spent under 11 months in actual custody, 4 months in a halfway house and two months under home confinement. Obviously, in h…

Current Events: Weiner and Rothstein

Over the course of the past year or so, I have given some opinions based on my unique experience going through the complexities of the criminal justice system. Periodically, events in the press present themselves and accentuate points that I have made in various blogs. During the last week, two completely disconnected events have been directly on point on two topics I have written about at length in the previous year.

The first event was the sentencing of the now infamous from US representative, Anthony Weiner. Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with a minor. He also must register as a sex offender which will affect him for the rest of his life.  I think everyone will agree that this a truly depraved individual who got off relatively easy in light of the fact that he is essentially a predator who has spent the better part of the last 10 years preying on underage girls.

As discussed in http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2017/03/the-plight-of-white-collar-that-is.html ,…

THIS TOO SHALL PASS (both the bad and the good)

This too shall pass. If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me during my seven year odyssey through all the  facets of the criminal justice system, it would have covered my settlement with the bankruptcy trustee! Well not quite but close. Whenever anyone wanted to offer words of support and consolation to me  he would remind that "This too shall pass." In other words, there will be a time when this chapter of your life will finally be over. Of course, none of them know when that will be, but that is another matter. The message is look forward, better times they are a'comin.

Indeed, the most common use of this saying is to remember that these bad times are merely temporary. At least that is what I used to think. One day, as my bunkmate at the camp was changing his shirt, and no I do not make it a habit to ogle other other men as they change (not there's anything wrong with that) I noticed he had a tattoo on his arm with that very saying. Up to that poin…

GOD BLESS THE USA!

Is it OK for a citizen of the United States of America to hate the United States of America? Does it matter if the basis of your hatred is that you do not like the President? Does it matter if your hatred is based on a belief that it is unfairly difficult some people to realize the "American Dream" while others have a perceived advantage. And finally, is it OK to hate the USA because of a belief that you are being targeted by the justice system? Does it matter if you are guilty or innocent?

Anyone who has been through the justice system, whether or not he has been incarcerated, has certainly wrestled with this question. There are times, when one feels unfairly targeted that there is nothing but blind hatred for a system that is at best biased The potential for hatred is only amplified, when faced with the reality that "innocent until proven guilty" has little application in the reality that is the current justice system. (http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2017/01/inno…

CONVICT ME ONCE, SHAME ON YOU; CONVICT ME TWICE, SHAME ON ME-A CASE STUDY

A few months back, I detailed the many factors that need to be considered when contemplating a plea deal and even went into explaining why the system is inherently unfair. For those who missed it, here are the links to those entries.
http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2016/12/to-plea-or-not-to-plea-that-is-question.html
http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2016/12/to-plea-or-not-to-plea-part-2.html
http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2017/02/no-one-ever-said-it-was-going-to-be-fair.html
This is important considering the following story that just happened to someone who I spent time with at the Miami camp.

The original case goes back to 2010. There were a few clubs in Miami Beach that were owned by individuals of Russian descent. Essentially, they arranged for girls to come from Russia, flirt with potential targets and get them drunk. These "bar girls" would then bring the targets back to the Russian owned clubs where they would order more drinks and would be so incapacitated that they did not…

LAKEWOOD TAKEWOOD

Many of you have seen the many recent arrests in Lakewood which has, inclusive of today resulted in over 25  arrests. A brief synopsis of the allegations can be found here http://www.nj.com/ocean/index.ssf/2017/07/12_more_lakewood_residents_charged_in_massive_welf.html Now for those who do not know, Lakewood is a primarily Jewish Ultra Orthodox town in Northern New Jersey. Many of the residents do not work and do depend on government assistance, Unfortunately, Lakewood has also been home to some serious financial frauds and even a large Ponzi Scheme. As I Jew, and yes one who has been to prison, I am disturbed by these allegations.

Let me be very clear. These are merely allegations and conjecture at this time. I state first hand the 90% of what is written in the papers in not true, and that is being generous. I am not saying this is "Fake News", but as in most cases, the journalists tend embellish. After all, scandals sell papers, and the more scandalous, the better. Now I k…

Trump and Sessions Got It Wrong

Disclaimer: I am a registered Republican (although I can no longer vote) and would have supported President Trump in the last election.

In my inaugural blog, http://www.whitecollarguru.com/2016/12/does-prison-serve-purpose-and-for-whom.html I spoke about the underlying purposes for prison and how for many white collar crimes, prison does not always serve a purpose. Most of my comments thus far have been focused on the issues facing white collar defendants. I have mentioned on more than one occasion that someone who has never been through the justice system or the prison system can not properly opine on how to fix the system. I am going to digress for today and focus on non violent drug crimes as it has been in the news of late. 

Drugs are dangerous. There is no debating that Cocaine, Heroin, Fentanyl, need to be kept off the streets and that those who distribute them need to be punished under the theory that society does need to be protected from such individuals. Yes, they belong in pr…

Is It OK To Snitch??????

A typical white collar criminal case will have multiple defendants as even the most sophisticated crimes rely on at least the complacency of more than one individual. Sometimes everyone is charged in one indictment covering multiple defendants, sometimes each defendant is indicted in a separate case, and sometimes certain individuals are charged while others are not even though their conduct was essentially the same. Understanding why some cases are separated while some are joined is a question for prosecutors. On the question of who is charged and who is not, I have taken a cynical view on it and come to believe that those decisions are dictated on the basis on who they can get and who they do not think they can get. I also have come to believe that the more publicity a potential defendant has in a case, the more likely he is to be charged. Public perception can be a motivating factor and given two potential defendants who committed the same alleged act, the one with the greater publ…