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Good Thing Incompetence Is a Reason For Firing U.S. Attorneys .... Oh, Wait...

Ruth's picture

Since the AG has this taste for turning out U.S. Attorneys who aren't meeting standards of Gooperism, here's one that didn't make the cut. Next round, perhaps?

Poorly written Justice Department documents cost the federal government more than $100 million in what was supposed to have been the crowning moment of the biggest tax prosecution ever.

Walter Anderson, the telecommunications entrepreneur who admitted hiding hundreds of millions of dollars from the IRS and District of Columbia tax collectors, was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison and ordered to repay about $23 million to the city.

But U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman said he couldn't order Anderson to repay the federal government $100 million to $175 million because the Justice Department's binding plea agreement with Anderson listed the wrong statute.

Friedman said he could have worked around that problem by ordering Anderson to repay the money as part of his probation. But prosecutors omitted any discussion of probation -- a common element of plea deals -- from Anderson's paperwork.

"I've come to the conclusion, very reluctantly, that I have no authority to order restitution," Friedman said. "I hope the government will appeal me."

Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, which prosecuted the case in cooperation with Justice Department headquarters, said the government would bring civil charges against Anderson.

Seems the DoJ has too much on its mind what with calling up acting U.S. Attorneys to tell them not to enforce the laws. But at that level, to write court filings this poorly sure does seem to indicate that it's okay to be really dumb, as long as you leave the GOP criminals alone.

We really, really need to get these people out of high places where they're doing too much harm to the (former) Rule of Law.

{See also Xan's "First Nominee for Corporate Death Penalty: ITT.}

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Submitted by lambert on

For allowing Justice to become infested with 30-something Christianists from Regent "University."

No authoritarians were tortured in the writing of this post.

Submitted by [Please enter a... (not verified) on

What's the First Law of Repub-otics, people? FOLLOW THE MONEY. I'm into the crunch part of the week and don't have time today to run the chase, but somebody on a different schedule might want to look into relevant points:

1) Where is this guy from, where is he (or his company/ies) based, who are the local elected officials, and did he give money to them?

2) Obvious national hunt: did he give donations to the RNC or any of its entities? How about 529 groups? Remember how ITT threw its bribe via offering to finance the RNC convention one year?

3) How about foundations, nonprofs, "charitable" groups, or entities purporting to be religous in nature? Universities? Invested in any publishing or media firms? Spray some Sticky String over this web and see what links become visible.

4) Who is the US Attorney who handled this case? How long has he/she been in office and who was this person's predecessor? I assume the case has been going on for awhile.

5) Any other devious connections which come to mind. Remember the First Law's first corollary: It Would Be Irresponsible Not To Speculate.

Yes it is just barely possible that this was the result of incompetence by somebody with a degree from Photoshop U. Mist[e]aks do happen. I once saw a really nasty rape case thrown out of court because the cops listed the guy's address as Rural Route 3 when in fact he lived on Route 4.

However I see no reason not to regard "incompetence" as a "that's what they'd like you to BELIEEEEVE" scenario. At least until proven otherwise.

Ruth's picture
Submitted by Ruth on

....of completely mishandling a case, the DoJ is really in the swamp I would say. And thanks for the suggestions, Xan.

If the judge hasn't let the DoJ know in no uncertain terms that he/she expects it to be remedied, I would also have a closer look at that judge's financial dealings.