US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s Outrageous Indictment of Attorney For Telling Person Not To Return FBI Phone Call

justice weepsYesterday afternoon I got a call asking me if I heard what happened to Timmy. I figured I had better find out. I Googled the name Timothy Flaherty. The media headline read: “Attorney Pleads Not Guilty in Witness Tampering Case.”  Later in the day the front page of the paper had the gross falsehood: “Attorney is said to have bribed victim not to testify.” 

Carmen Ortiz had indicted Flaherty for one count of witness tampering. His indictment read that he “did knowingly corruptly persuade the victim, and attempt to do so, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer of the United States of information related to the commission and possible commission of a federal offense, that is, 18 U.S.C. s. 249.”

18 U.S.C. s. 249 is the “Hate crime acts.”

Flaherty represented a client who “is alleged to have assaulted the victim and yelled, “You little Muslim . . . you f***in terrorist.” This could be a hate crime according to the indictment. Section 249 reads: “Whoever willfully causes bodily injury to any person . . . because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin of any person— shall be imprisoned not more than 10 years, fine . . . “

Now here is what you have to know. Flaherty’s crime is he told a person (the victim) not to call back an FBI agent who wanted to talk to him. For that he can be imprisoned up to twenty years, fined and lose his right to practice law. The evidence against him was gained by the FBI putting the person up to making a telephone call from its office which conversation it structured and recorded and so as to entrap him. It is a clear case where the FBI tried to manufacture a crime.

Flaherty’s indictment tells how he paid the victim $2,500 if he would not prosecute the case. This has nothing to do with the crime charge. It is only for background but is presented as if it is something wrong.

It is not a crime because in Massachusetts we have an accord and satisfaction law.  It is G.L. c. 276, s 55 which states: “If a person . . . is under . . . complaint for . . a charge of assault and battery or other misdemeanor, . . . and the person injured appears before the court . . . and acknowledges in writing that he has received satisfaction for the injury, the court may . . . discharge the defendant from the . . . complaint.” In 2006, the Massachusetts Supreme Court in Commonwealth av. Guzman upheld the constitutionality of that statute in a case where a guy gave his wife a black eye.

You also have to know that a person does not have to cooperate with the cops if they want to talk to him. An attorney can  tell his client or another person that it is up to him whether to discuss the matter with the law enforcement authorities. No one can be compelled to talk to a  person investigating a crime.

Here’s the gist of the one count indictment. Flaherty was hired by a guy charged charged with assault and battery and assault and battery with intent to intimidate because of a person’s race. Flaherty called the victim the day he was hired. He said his client wanted to apologize and offered him up to $2,000, if the victim would not prosecute, two days later he offered him $2,500. This is the way an accord and satisfaction comes about.

Here, though, the victim went to the cops and arranged with them that he would meet Flaherty on Christmas Eve. Flaherty gave him the $2,500 and told him if he was contacted by the court to ignore it. Later when the case came up in March Flaherty asked the prosecutor if he heard from the victim. The prosecutor said he hadn’t so Flaherty agreed to another date for the trial.

On May 6, 2015, with the FBI listening in and recording, the victim called Flaherty and said he had received a letter about the trial coming up later that month. Flaherty told the victim to tell the DA he didn’t want to go on with the case and if they tried to subpoena him he should just duck it. The victim at the prompting of the FBI told Flaherty a female employee of the federals from the civil rights division called him. Flaherty said “Blow her off” and not to call her back.

Not satisfied they had come clearly within the statute which required the a law enforcement officer, the FBI again had the victim call Flaherty back on May 21, 2015. The victim told Flaherty the FBI had left a message for him to call and Flaherty said not to call back.

I must tell you I’ve known Flaherty since he was a young ADA in Norfolk. I consider him a friend. He is a busy and highly talented attorney who has tried an won some significant cases. I assume he has been in federal court. I wonder if he probably stepped on the toes of some AUSAs and this is their pay back like they did to retired FBI agent Fitzpatrick.

Flaherty assumed he had an accord and satisfaction when the victim took the $2,500 but rather than going through the formalities of filling out a statement and filing it in court to have the case dismissed, he was trying to save himself and the victim time and expense by short cutting the matter as some attorneys do because the result is the same thing. You may note there is no charge against Flaherty for bribery or anything like that but it is set out in the indictment to try to dirty him up, another federal trick, so that a headline in a local paper wrongly read: .“Attorney charged with trying to buy victim’s silence.”

Flaherty is only charged with corruptly persuade the victim, and attempt to do so, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer. . . “

The problem with the charge is there is no corruption involved. Flaherty believing the victim was concerned about the accord and satisfaction told him he didn’t have to talk to the FBI or anyone else. Lawyers tell their clients every day not to call back the FBI when it calls except they aren’t overheard by FBI agents saying it.

Only in the office of Carmen Ortiz could a good criminal lawyer be indicted for giving a person good legal advice. Only in that office could the indictment read as if there were something wrong with Flaherty giving the victim money. Only in the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office would a reputable lawyer be indicted for such a trivial and insignificant matter as telling a person not to call back an FBI agent.

Incredible as it seems I can’t help wondering if my friendship with Flaherty coupled with my criticism of Ortiz is the reason this nonsensical charge was brought. There is, as I have said before, something drastically wrong in that office. Perhaps it is time for Attorney General Loretta Lynch to take a look at it.


10 thoughts on “US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s Outrageous Indictment of Attorney For Telling Person Not To Return FBI Phone Call

  1. Someone asked, why they are coming after Tim Flaherty?

    The answer: Because they can and no one can or will do anything about it.

    The conduct out of the US Attorney’s office is about as corrupt as any public agency can get, paid for by taxpayer dollars – a disgrace.

    That’s right America, stay silent. You may be next.

    1. Well doesn’t this sound a little bit familiar and close to home for my family? “To pick one lawyer who did what other criminal defense lawyers do on a daily basis is to target that lawyer.”

    2. Douglas:

      Too many people don’t get beyond the headlines. Here all they would know from the media headlines is that Flaherty was involved in bribing a witness when nothing could be further from the truth. But then again how can the average American understand what is happening when the media has fallen asleep on the abuses coming from federal court.

      1. Matt:

        Based on my direct knowledge, the Boston US Attorney’s office, working together with the Boston FBI has covered up more public corruption and criminal activity than, perhaps, any government entity in America.

        Like most Americans, I, too, believed that the FBI and the DOJ were in the business of remedying public corruption and crime. However, during the late 90’s, I learned I was wrong.

        For example, I didn’t know that the FBI and the DOJ would participate in and/or be complicit with retaliatory frame ups, promotion fixing, well planned discrimination, egregious retaliation and other public corruption.

        Anyone needing undisputed, hard evidence to prove what I say can review my thirty (30) page affidavit in the official court record and my approximate two hour video meeting with FBI Agent Robbins. Following that meeting, her supervisor, John T. Foley wrote that he had no interest.

        The corrupt conduct I reported to two federal public corruption officers, Steve Huggard and Brian Kelly would rock even the most seasoned attorneys on their heels. It was ignored.

        The next step, in accordance with 18 USC 4, was to report to the members of the federal bench. The consequences for following the law: On two separate occasions I was visited at my court job by the US Marshals Service warning me to stop reporting public corruption and crime to the Boston DOJ and members of the federal bench, or else. To show how brazen they can act, their visits were followed up with emails telling me to stop reporting corruption and crime. This happened in America.

        In a June 23, 2011, Boston Globe column by Joan Vennochi, “Power hitter – US Attorney Carmen Ortiz gives no cover to public corruption.” Vennochi writes, “Ortiz said prosecutors follow the evidence, ‘wherever it leads us. We’re not going to prosecute because of race or not prosecute because of race. Especially as a person of color, it’s offensive to me when race is interjected.’ ” Really?

        Ms. Ortiz has absolute and unequivocal evidence that promotion fixing designed to cheat females and blacks out of merit based promotions is standard operating procedure in many of the Title VII complaints that her office defends. The taxpayer cost to carry on this legal jujitsu and charade cannot be quantified. The collateral damage, I would say, is worse because it’s a betrayal of the very laws that office is supposed to enforce – a conflict of interest that is unimaginable.

        The sad part of this story is that no one will cast any sunshine on the corrupt activities operating out of the Boston DOJ.

        Even worse is that no attorney has developed a spine to deal with this thug conduct.
        Sworn & Commissioned Officer – Massachusetts Trial Court (Retired)

  2. As soon as I saw the article, I immediately knew it was an “accord and satisfaction” set up to be something else and I wondered why this material omission wasn’t reported in the Globe? I know Tim is a good attorney and person whom had done a lot of pro bono cases in Middlesex/Suffolk counties because Tim cares about helping people from all denominations in trouble, more than financial considerations, as evident here. Outside the courtroom, Tim is a regular likable guy but doesn’t always speak with an Ivy League tongue.

    The assigned AUSAs, come under Special Prosecutions and Public Corruption, now reporting to Fred Wyshak, whom overtly intimidates witnesses, their business associates, wives, and children with threats of baseless prosecutions or significant financial consideration on a routine basis. The bigger question is whether this “investigation” was a pretext for an ulterior political fishing expedition to monitor Tim’s communications with his friends and family.

    1. Bruce:

      This type of thing smelled of Wyshak but I didn’t now the indictment came from lawyers in his unit. What really bothers me is Flaherty had committed no crime but the FBI and Wyshak set about to lure into one. Then what they got where he told the guy not to call an FBI back is almost laughable.

      But we can’t laugh because of Wyshak’s record of manufacturing crimes and pressuring people by going after their families. Did Wyshak go after Timmy because he had something against his father? Or did Timmy represent someone who Wyshak couldn’t scare; or was it Timmy himself who stood up to Wyshak? This stinks and the way the papers covered it stinks. Declan had it right when he said: “then they came for me and there was no one left.”

      1. My view is that Wyshak needed a pretext to obtain a pre-grand jury sealed access order, 18 U.S.C. 2703, for a peek into Tim’s stored phone and email records hoping for something political.

        Matt, is it possible to post some related DoJ OPR/OIG docs?

  3. “Then they came for me and there was no one left”

    Sounds remarkably similar to what they did to Bobby George. Nobody cares. He pissed off someone at the US Attorney’s office and they kept taking runs at him until he said something that sounded bad on tape when taken out of context. Nobody cares that is, unless it’s them, or someone they know personally. Every member of the Massachusetts Bar should be outraged at that case (as well as scared to death). Maybe this will wake some people up but I doubt it. Not that I blame him, but I bet Tim Flaherty didn’t give it a second thought.

    1. Declan:

      You are right with your quote “then they came for me and there was no one left.” We all know the history of that where people remained silent in the face of government atrocities only to see them get worse and worse until they too got caught up in them.

      What’s the connection between Bobby George and Tim Flaherty. Both worked with me in the Norfolk DA’s office and both went on to become aggressive criminal defense lawyers who wouldn’t let their clients get pushed around. That’s something the FBI, DEA and federal prosecutors don’t like and they send messages out to other attorneys with these indictments that they better be more respectful.

      Look at the recent case against retired FBI agent Fitzpatrick. He was indicted because he pissed off Wyshak. Every criminal lawyer should be up in arms. Some have spoken out but others are fearful because Wyshak has them running for shelter. But perhaps this might be the straw that will make everyone realize his or her peril.

  4. Matt:
    Sorry to hear about the Boston DOJ Crime Family
    taking down your “legal homeboy” Flaherty.
    Down here in the whisper stream at Flying Pond Variety
    one of the guys standing next to the Green Mountain
    coffee machine started channeling Aaron Schwartz.

    You probably already know Boston FBI SAC Vincent
    ‘bad seed’ Lisi made his bones in the no weapons
    of mass destruction Exxon Mobil invasion
    of Iraq.

    Your story about Flaherty caused quite a stir
    amongst our group as we have been tracking
    Salt Lake City FBI agent Quirk .
    The Salt Lake FBI office recently fired him
    and he has fled the state because Judge
    Waddoups wants to interrogate him for
    witness tampering in the attorney Jesse
    Trentadue Oklahoma City bombing civil
    lawsuit .

    We have a pool going , sort of our legal derby,
    picking a date when Matt Connolly will
    call attorney Jesse Trentadue.

    This just in from the whisper stream…

    FBI Agent Accused of Witness Tampering Arrested as OKC Bombing Trial Continues in Federal Court in Salt Lake City

    UPDATE 4/30/2015 at 5:02 p.m. Central: According to Federal Court Order Appoint Special Master, Federal Judge Clark Waddoups “finds it appropriate and necessary to appoint Magistrate Judge Pead as a post-trial special master” to investigate allegations that at least one FBI agent engaged in witness tampering as described in the article below, published Dec. 16, 2014. The Oklahoma City Bombing trial drama continues!

    FBI Agent Adam Grant Quirk was arrested over the weekend following

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