And yet another acquittal, won by Roland Riopelle

Way to go, Roland.

As reported in the ABA Journal:

Lawyer is acquitted in alleged scheme to inflate stock price; actress’s ex-husband is convicted

By Debra Cassens Weiss

A Las Vegas lawyer has been acquitted of all charges in an alleged scheme to manipulate the stock price of a technology company.

Federal jurors in Brooklyn, New York, acquitted Kyleen Cane on charges of conspiracy and securities fraud, Law360 reports. Her co-defendant, Abraxas J. “A.J.” Discala, was convicted of securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy in the alleged pump-and-dump scheme.

Discala was CEO of OmniView Capital Advisors and is the former husband of Sopranos actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Reuters and a press release also have information.

The government had claimed Cane secretly controlled free trading shares of Cubed Inc., a company said to be developing an app, then set up escrow accounts to sell the stock while other conspirators manipulated the price, according to Law360.

Lawyer Roland Riopelle represented Cane.

“The jury saw the accusations the way we did, that our client was a bit of an afterthought,” he told Law360. Cane was trying to help Cubed, he argued. If she was involved in an illegal scheme, he said, why didn’t she sell all the stock and “ride off into the sunset with millions of dollars?”

Best, Ed.

New York City Bar Association – Stimpson Medal Presentation

Courtesy of Mark Hellerer:

26th Annual Henry L. Stimson Medal Presentation
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.
There is no charge for this program. Registration is not required.

The City Bar will mark the 26th annual presentation of its awards to four outstanding assistant U.S. attorneys from the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. A reception will follow, with prior winners in attendance.

Presented annually to outstanding Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District and in the Eastern District of New York, the medal is awarded in honor of Henry L. Stimson, who served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District from 1906-1909 and as President of the Association from 1937 to 1939. The awards are made possible by the generosity of the firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Henry Stimson’s legacy firm.

Mark R. Hellerer, Chair, Stimson Medal Committee

Hon. Debra A. Livingston, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Medal Presentation:
Roger Maldonado, President, New York City Bar Association

SDNY Civil: Lawrence H. Fogelman
SDNY Criminal: Joan Loughnane
EDNY Civil: F. Franklin Amanat
EDNY Criminal: M. Kristin Mace

Benito joins Louie at Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan

A note from Benito:

Effective May 1 after nearly 10 years I retired from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP and decided to join Louie Freeh’s firm, Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan.
I can be reached at, or

Benito Romano
Freeh Sporkin & Sullivan, LLP
350 Fifth Avenue, Suite 6903
New York, New York 10118

Congratulations, Benito!

Best, Ed.

The Honorable John Martin and the Southern District of New York

“For those who regard the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York as a model of what a prosecutor’s office should be, it was distressing to see the former leader of that office, Rudolph Giuliani, telling Sean Hannity that F.B.I. agents acting under the supervision of that office were ‘storm troopers.’
“Et tu, Brute?”
The writer was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1980 to 1983.
Serving as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York under John Martin with my collegues is one of the high points of my professional and personal life, and inspired me with confidence, independence, and fearlessness to do justice and not just practice law. Thank you, John. 
Robert García,

You can join a public statement being circulated by former AUSAs about the attacks on DOJ

This is the statement:

We, the undersigned, are proud alumni of the United States Department of Justice. We served this institution out of a commitment to the founding American principles that our democratic republic depends upon the rule of law, that the law must be applied equally, and that no one is above the law. Many of us served with Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein. Those of us who served with these men know them to be dedicated public servants committed to these principles. All of us served with thousands of their peers at the Department, who also swear an oath to serve, defend, and protect the United States, the Constitution and the American people. We know that there are thousands of public servants at the Department today who serve these principles and all of us.

We are therefore deeply disturbed by the attacks that have been levied against the good men and women of the Department. Not only is it an insult to their public service, but any attempt to corrupt or undermine the even-handed application of the rule of law threatens the foundation of our Republic. We know the people who serve at the Department will bravely weather these attacks and continue to uphold their oaths by doing only what the law dictates. But it is up to the rest of us, and especially our elected representatives, to come to their defense and oppose any attempt by the President or others to improperly interfere in the Department’s work, including by firing either Mr. Mueller, Mr. Rosenstein or other Department leadership or officials for the purpose of interfering in their investigations. Should the President take such a step, we call on Congress to swiftly and forcefully respond to protect the founding principles of our Republic and the rule of law.

If you want to join, here is the link:

The first woman to become a SDNY AUSA

Helen Gredd let me know that Lisa Zornberg recently gave a speech about Mary Rutter Towle, who was the first woman made a SDNY AUSA. She was sworn in on June 15, 1921 by then U.S Attorney Colonel William Hayward. Women had been given the right to vote only the previous August.

As Hayward and Towle said when interviewed by the press:

“I expect her to do a regular lawyer’s work,” said
U.S. Attorney William Hayward, in appointing her.
“That,” Miss Towle responded, “is exactly what I
want to do.”

Towle worked in the Office until her retirement at the age of 70.

Hayward also appointed the first African-American AUSA, James C. Thomas, Jr., one month after he appointed Towle. Hayward was apparently a real liberal for his time, having commanded a regiment of African-American soldiers during World War I. He organized the regiment with voluntary recruits from Harlem, and named them the Harlem Hellfighters. When the U.S. Army wouldn’t permit them to engage in combat, Hayward brought them over to fight with the French Army, and together they received the Croix de Guerre for their valiant fighting.

Here is Lisa’s wonderful speech:

Mary Rutter Towle Presentation.3.20.18.FINAL

Wow, stuff of history!

Ostrow lunch on Friday

Frank Wohl is receiving the Ostrow Award at the annual NYCDL Ostrow Luncheon on Friday. Hope to see a lot of you there.

The Percoco jury is still out. Good luck to alums Barry Bohrer, Dan Gitner and Debbie Landis.

Judge Caproni is still pushing the Silver case to go to trial next month on April 16th. Good luck to Mike Feldberg, who just came in for Silver.

Judge Wood gave Bob Gage a small break setting the other political retrial in the Skelos case for June 18th.

Any other upcoming trials we should know about?

Best, Ed.

Summations in Percoco trial are now set for next Tuesday.

I should have mentioned that two other alums, Dan Gitner and Milt Williams, are also on trial with Barry Bohrer representing other defendants in the Percoco case.

Debbie Landis just let me know that summations are set for next Tuesday.

As you may know, the government’s main witness was blown up on cross when he admitted that, in violation of his plea agreement, he committed at least one further crime when he disavowed an American Express charge for staying at the Waldorf while coming to the City for witness prep with the prosecutors. Can’t make this up. They violated him on his agreement and locked him up for the rest of the trial.

Looking forward to the summations, best, Ed.

Back up and running

Our website has been down due to the proverbial “technical difficulties” but after hours with GoDaddy, we are back up. This was caused by the need to add extra security so the Russian hackers wouldn’t get to you. I wish I could say that’s just a joke.

I am pursuing other alums who have not yet registered and would appreciate hearing from you if you know of some.

Barry Bohrer is still on trial in the Percoco case and I’ll try to let you know when summations are given. They will definitely be worth attending if you have the time.

On that note, please let me know of any other trials scheduled in the SDNY. I know that Sheldon Silver has switched lawyers to Mike Feldberg, and Judge Caproni is holding him to the April 16th trial date originally scheduled.

Cheers, Ed Little.

P.S. You can always email me directly with news to post at

News flash

Trump just appointed Geoffrey Berman of Greenberg Traurig (Rudy’s firm) as interim U.S. Attorney SDNY and is nominating him for the permanent position. He likewise appointed Richard Donoghue, formerly Chief of the Criminal Division in the EDNY, for the top position there.

And a Happy New Year to you all.

Best, Ed.

Memorial Mass for Larry Byrne’s brother, Police Officer Eddie Byrne

Thirty years ago, Larry’s brother, Eddie Byrne, was a police officer sitting in his patrol car protecting a local resident in South Jamaica, Queens when he was assassinated on the order of a jailed drug dealer.

Larry was only in the Office for three weeks when Eddie was killed. He tells me the outpouring of support from the Office and the Alumni network at that time was quite extraordinary and a great comfort to him and his family in the wake of this terrible tragedy.

To commemorate his sacrifice Cardinal Dolan will say a Memorial Mass for Eddie on February 21 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. February 21 was Eddie’s birthday and he was killed only five days after his 22nd birthday.

Larry is now Deputy Police Commissioner in the New York City Police Department.

Kudos to Paul Shechtman for the hung jury in the Seabrook case

The government’s informant spent half the trial on the stand, thanks no doubt to Paul’s cross attacking his credibility for his changing story as well as his motives. More here:

It’s good to hear there are still trials for the defense, and trials that end well.

Paul is now at the Bracewell firm with the Honorable Barbara Jones.

Best, Ed.

David Koenigsberg Writes About False Claims Act Developments in the Second Circuit

New York Law Journal
By David Koenigsberg
Inability to Identify Invoices Does Not Mandate Dismissal of FCA Complaints

Dear Friends and Colleagues

For those of us who represent whistleblowers in False Claims Act qui tam litigation, or for those of us who defend such cases, a recent Second Circuit case has provided guidance concerning Rule 9(b) standards with regard to pleading fraud with particularity. The Court reversed the dismissal of a qui tam complaint, holding that although the relator did not have personal knowledge of whether false claims had actually been submitted to the government, the complaint alleged sufficient facts that a false claim had been submitted to the government to satisfy Rule 9(b). Previously, district courts in the Circuit had dismissed qui tam complaints when the relator could not identify a specific claim for payment that had been submitted to the government.

View full article:

Best regards,

David Koenigsberg

Sad news.

We are so sad to learn that Debbie Stavile Bartel (AUSA 1983-89), a truly wonderful person, just recently passed away. Here is her obituary in the New York Times:

It is with great sadness that the Bartel family mourns the passing of Deborah, aged 65, on Monday, November 6. Born in New York, NY, the oldest child of E. Patrick and Barbie Stavile, Deborah distinguished herself early on as an honor student at Bishop Reilly High School and graduated magna cum laude, double major, from Queens College, CUNY (1974). In 1979, Deborah received a J.D. with honors (top one percent of her class) from New York University School of Law, where she held the position of Research Editor for the Law Review, and was awarded the Pomeroy Prize (academic prize for the top ten students). Thereafter, Deborah served as law clerk to the Honorable James Hunter III (United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit). From 1980 to 1983, she worked as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. In 1983 Deborah became an Assistant United States Attorney, S.D.N.Y. working in federal criminal trial, appellate and grand jury practice, and extradition. In 1987 she joined Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman as partner. Throughout her legal career she volunteered for the NAACP and ACLU. While volunteering for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, she represented the petitioner in Supreme Court case Ake v. Oklahoma (holding that in a capital case Oklahoma’s refusal to provide a psychiatric examination to assist an indigent with an insanity defense violated due process). For the ACLU she drafted portions of the Respondents’ brief in Supreme Court case City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health (on whether Ohio regulations of abortion violated Roe v. Wade.) Deborah transitioned to teaching criminal law at Fordham University School of Law in 1991 and continued her career as a law professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and Touro Law School, from 1992 to 1997 as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law. Deborah’s published works include Comparing Federal and State Rape Shield Laws (1994), Drawing Negative Inferences Upon Claims of Attorney-Client Privileges (1995), and The Joint Defense Doctrine and A Fair Trial (1996). She was a devoted mother to her two children, Philip and Katie Bartel and retired to spend more time with her family. During retirement, Deborah continued to volunteer her legal services at Safe Horizons, a not-for-profit providing legal help to immigrants who are victims of crime and abuse. Deborah is survived by her husband Paul Bartel and her two children. Her brilliance and kindness will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, contributions to Planned Parenthood may be made in her honor.