Why Did Ortiz Target Attorney Flaherty?

justice weepsThe decision by U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz to go after Massachusetts attorney Tim Flaherty is so unusual that the question that all should be asking is why did she target him? I ask that because what Flaherty had done prior to Ortiz and the FBI getting involved was something that most criminal attorneys have often done. They contact the victim of an assault and battery and try to work out a situation (called an accord and satisfaction in Massachusetts) where the victim of the crime receives some payment for his injury and the attorney’s client avoids getting a criminal record for the act.

In today’s Boston Herald  criminal defense attorney Terrence Kennedy, a and current member of the Governor’s Council, said: “I’ve done this countless times. He may have chosen his words poorly, but this is a good, honest lawyer”

In the Flaherty case there was no federal crime until Ortiz came along with FBI agents and decided to manufacture one. That’s right, there wasn’t even a state crime as I just explained. To pick one lawyer who did what other criminal defense lawyers do on a daily basis is to target that lawyer.

Here is the crime that Ortiz is using to try to ruin Flaherty’s criminal career and life. The one count indictment reads: “corruptly persuade . . . with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer of the United States of information. . .”  Flaherty told  the person who had accepted $2,500 from him in exchange for not going forward with his complaint not to call back an FBI agent who had left a message that he wanted to talk to him.

I wonder how many of you knew that telling a person not to return an FBI agent’s call could get you indicted. That is now the case in Boston.  You have heard the expression “loose lips sink ships”; well add to it “loose lips sink lawyers”.

If Flaherty said to the person, “you don’t have to call him back” rather than “don’t call him back” he would not be facing 20 years in prison. But even writing that I have to pause, because as you know this was an Ortiz/FBI office set-up.

Here is what is frightening. The victim who took the $2,500 who was calling Flaherty was sitting with FBI agents who were prompting him what to say and recording their conversations. The FBI agents were not investigating any crime because no crime had been committed. The FBI agents were attempting to create a crime.

The FBI agents had earlier called Flaherty on May 6, 2015. They did not quite get the evidence they wanted. They then called him on May 21, 2015, and he made the statement I just referred to. I can only assume that if he did not make it then, they would have kept trying until he said something that got him in trouble. This is the level to which the FBI has fallen.

The way Ortiz structured the indictment she made it look like a bribery case. Both major Boston newspapers played up the federal indictment the way Ortiz and the FBI wanted. The Boston Globe headlined its story: “Attorney is said to have bribed victim not to testify.”  The Boston Herald had this: “Attorney charged with trying to buy victim’s silence.” Both of these statements are untrue. I would expect each newspaper to retract them and report the case correctly.

I will note that the Herald did a little extra work. The guy who wrote the first story with the erroneous headline, Bob McGovern, asked other defense attorneys about Flaherty’s case. Today his story’s headline is: “Lawyers  decry fed indictment against Timothy Flaherty.”  He spells out the same thing I wrote about earlier in the day that Flaherty committed no crime in doing what other criminal lawyers have done over the years and what is legal in Massachusetts. Like me, one lawyer expressed “outrage” at this action by Ortiz; another said it was “frightening” and a third said it could have “a chilling effect.”

Sadly the Globe doubled down with a false headline today: “Attorney accused of bribing hate-crime victim with hush money”. That, of course, is expected because that paper and the U.S. attorney are like Mike and Ike working hand-in-hand. The difference in coverage shows what happens when one paper strives for the truth and the other to please.

Here is the big question that has to be answered. Why did the FBI and Ortiz target Flaherty when what he did is legal and done routinely by criminal defense attorneys?

Could Ortiz have been doing another favor for the Boston Globe which in the past wrongly impugned the integrity of Tim Flaherty’s father who was Speaker of the House and a good man? Was it because Tim Flaherty’s father had been speaker and Tim ran for political office that she figured it would be a big story? Did Flaherty do something to displease one of her assistants?  This is so far out of the norm that it carries all the suggesting of a revenge prosecution.

There may be another explanation that may make sense. It is that Ortiz lets the FBI run her. I’ve written about this before. It is important a prosecutor not be pushed around by the cops. The jobs are different; one does the hard street work of seeking out crimes and trying to prevent them (not to invent them as here) and the other to see that justice is done. I have had to tell cops we would not prosecute cases that they worked on. They were not happy but I did my job as I thought it should be done.

Maybe Ortiz had abdicated her authority to the FBI. Perhaps they tell her what cases she has to prosecute as in the Caswell Motel matter. She is afraid to exercise sound prosecutorial judgment and say no. If she’s come to that she should understand that she is no longer doing the job the people expect of her.









17 replies on “Why Did Ortiz Target Attorney Flaherty?”

  1. This is so ridiculous. Common practice among defense attorneys in Massachusetts always. Are they trying to change the rules? Nothing else to do perhaps? Looking to get someone a job? Maybe a personality conflict? I think Ortiz should be investigated.

    1. Sam:

      I don’t think you understand how frame ups and other corrupt practices work at the DOJ, so let me explain it in the best and most abbreviated way I know how.

      As a former federal employee responsible for Title VII EEO complaints processing and monitoring investigations for legal sufficiency, one of the cases to which I was assigned involved a retaliatory frame up against a Hispanic employee who filed a complaint for non-selection.

      I presented irrefutable, hard evidence to the chief counsel, Bruce Krasker (and later to his deputy Jerome Brennan), and asked that this employee not be retaliated against for exercising her right to file a complaint.

      I also asked Krasker how he could stand by knowing that the evidence showed a deliberate and malicious frame up. Krasker’s response: “We, (the Legal Directorate) can do anything we want It’s called gaming. We can deny, delay…dismiss. We can manipulate the system any way we want.”

      In a discussion with the agency ethics attorney, I asked if he would take measures to stop the retaliatory frame up. His response: “I tried being an ethics attorney with Navy, I had to leave.”

      There are so many facts and admissions to corroborate the frame up and other violations, but they were suppressed.

      Based on my direct knowledge, the Boston US Attorney’s office has been complicit with well planned discrimination and other public corruption subsidized by more than a trillion taxpayer dollars and no one can or will do anything about it. The fraud on the court is worse. Using the courts to commit and complete crime in America has reached pandemic levels.

      In a sworn affidavit and other communications, I reported, perhaps, the biggest promotion fixing scheme in the history of the federal government to the FBI, the DOJ and members of the federal bench. The results? The US Marshals Service threatened me, on two separate occasions, to stop reporting public corruption and crime to the US Attorney’s office and the federal bench, or else. The two US Marshals, (Dawson and Dumas) even sent me emails telling me to stop. And on June 16, 2011, I learned that I was placed on a government “watch list.”

      Will the DOJ investigate their own pattern and practice of well planned discrimination designed to cheat females and blacks out of merit based promotions? Of course not.

      Was the conduct outlined in my thirty (30) page affidavit reciting sensational facts ignored, including the “suspicious” death of federal employee Brownell Franklin? Absolutely.

      Will the well planned discrimination continue? Yes.

      Will this sensational story ever be told. No.

      Anyway, Sam, I hope I have answered your question. Any other questions?


    2. Sam:

      It may be a problem of having too little to do so they have to look for crimes or try to lure people into committing them.

  2. Thanks Declan. I know attorney George to be a vigorous and competent advocate. It’s an old tactic of the US Attorney to cull the ranks of attorneys that give them headaches in court. We saw that with indictment of Bruce Cutler in New York. Only when Cutler was out of the picture could they get a clean shot at John Gotti. Prior to that Cutler repeatedly kicked their ass for John Gotti.

    Matt, I think that what is happening to Hastert is similar to what is happening to Tim. Another criminalized accord and satisfaction agreement.

  3. Matt,
    I am not an FBI defender. However they will do what they are told by the US Atty.
    This smells of Fred Wyshak who is working white collar crime for the USAtty. Wyshak is the great intimidator. A classic bully who yells and screams and gets what he wants.

    1. Ernie:

      Bruce wrote earlier and said Wyshak was behind it. I checked out the FBI bulletin on the case which aside from misconstruing what it is about said the two lawyers prosecuting it were in fact from Wyshak’s unit. Maybe I should give the FBI a pass on this one because it sounds like a Wyshak creation and they were forced into following his dictates. He has been in charge of that unit and the only two indictments that have been returned have been against Fitzpatrick and Flaherty.

  4. Let me start by saying that I knew Bob George only by reputation before his life was ruined by the government. I had occasion to call him a couple of times in hopes of doing some business and, quite frankly, he never returned my calls. Nevertheless, I think people should know this. Let me point out that while Martarano, weeks, and perhaps Flemmi may dine at a table next to your family tonight, courtesy of Carmen and Wyshak, Bob George is STILL in prison…for at least another year. Sounds like justice, right?

    Bob George was not and is not a criminal deserving of being locked away in prison. His crime was twofold: he pissed off a sleazy, drug dealing, con man who was a former client, and most importantly, he spoke rudely to an incompetent, rude AUSA with a bad self image.

    I’m shocked at the lack of support he has received from the legal community…this is truly a case of “they came for my neighbor and I did nothing”. maybe it’s due to the fact that people don’t really understand what happened…people make comments like ” well, you can’t argue with the tapes” and ” the jury certainly felt that he was a criminal”. First off, it never should have gotten to a jury, and second, would this be the first time a jury got a verdict wrong?

    I know I’m all over the map, but before I go into the facts of the case, I must state this: did Bob George use bad judgement? Certainly. Did he make some mistakes? Of course. The larger question is, however, is it the role of the government to target a guy and keep testing him to see what it will take before he says or does something stupid, and then imprison him? Are there not enough actual criminals and crimes taking place that we don’t have to take a guy who is a taxpaying attorney, father, husband, little league coach etc and lock him away?

    Not to mention the fact that the incredibly incompetent Carmen Ortiz called him “no better than the drug dealer on the corner” at her press conference following his arrest. Talk about hyperbole, grandstanding and outright bullshit! If she believed that, she even less qualified for the job than she now shows herself to be with every failed case/over reaming prosecution that she seems to believe in… A crime is a crime, right Carmen? Yet most people Hear the sound bytes, read the headlines and conclude that Bob George is just another sleazy lawyer gone bad, and say good riddance. Here is why every citizen, and especially every member of the Bar Association, should be sickened by this…you could be next!

    Without getting to specific on dates and times, Bob George left for work one morning as he had a thousand other times…a father, husband tax and tuition paying citizen who was about to lose his most valuable asset..his freedom. He didn’t know it, but the wheels were in motion to ruin his life, and had been for some time.

    Bob,Carmen Ortiz would tell you, had a “chance meeting” at the south shore plaza with a former client. This client, a good friend and reliable source for Carmens crew was a career criminal with a record of battering women, extorting money, and conning innocent people out of many hundreds of thousands off dollars ( it should be noted he STILL has an outstanding restitution order for about 300k, of which he has paid back NOTHING) as well as a child support scofflaw.

    What Carmen would have you believe (and her minions swore to in federal court) is that Bob saw this drain on society and out of the blue, asked him if “he had any money he needed laundered”!!!!!. is this plausible to anyone who has ever been involved in law enforcement at any level?? Bob George asked a former client during a (don’t forget) CHANCE meeting at the plaza if “he had any money to launder? I would suggest that if Carmen did believe this, she needs to be removed from the job immediately, because she is needs to be institutionalized as an insane person! (side note: if this wasn’t patently ridiculous enough, the guy was a former client due to the fact that he hadn’t been able to come up with the money to pay Bob on a prior case…of course Bob would think to ask him if he had money to launder!)

    Back to the fairy tale: this concerned citizen IMMEDIATELY brought this to the attention of law enforcement, who, after careful investigation decide that this career rat/criminal was TELLING THE TRUTH (!) about this chance meeting and opened a case, which led to Bob referring the informant to a mortgage broker and told him to launder this guys drug money (note: the guy, depute being a despicable human being, con man and wife beater, has no drug record) .

    The mortgage guy laundered the drug money, paid Bob a commission, and the rest is history…after all, it’s all on tape…or is it?

    If this is what happened, I would be leading the charge in applauding the government for a job well done…a little shaky, but they apparently interrupted a money laundering conspiracy, and locked up the violators…now for the TRUTH!

    The best place to start, I suppose, is at the beginning. The chance meeting. The genesis of the case that ruined a mans life, and led to Carmen lumping a prominent attorney in with “the drug dealers on the corner”. it was, of course, bullshit. You know it. I know it. The judge new it. Most importantly, the US attorneys office new it. How? Because this guy was an informant for the very AUSA on this case, and had been for many years. How do we know this? BECAUSE THE SAME INFORMANT AND AUSA HAD TRIED TO GET BOB TO LAUNDER MONEY SEVERAL YEARS EARLIER!!

    That’s right..in a little can of worms that was not turned over until the trial was almost over, it was discovered that the DEA had requested money from headquarters to target a “noted attorney in Boston WITH ORGANIZED CRIME TIES (Emphasis added…but this was how a prominent attorney was described in an official government request for funds to be used to entrap him…his “ties”? He represented oc figures, of courses) that the US Attorneys Office has a great deal of interest in pursuing” Bob met the guy in jail, did everything by the book, and was not “hired” by the guy. The AUSA, for some strange reason, called BoB and told him to leave the guy alone…my guess is she was pissed that he didn’t take the bait. He basically told her to go fuck herself, and he had now officially sealed his fate…the CHANCE meeting was now inevitable. he had hurt the feelings of one of Carmens political appointees (wait..that can’t be true..it would be a RICO violation..just ask Carmen!)

    Back to the fairy tale. So, the informant languishes in jail…actually, the AUSA got him placed in a cooking school on The Vineyard!, wher he was locked up(?) in the dukes county jail…a guy deserving of the US attorneys office largesse, as he had only scammed dozens of people out of tens of thousands of dollars each buy taking their hard earned cash for cars which he never delivered (Anther note: he has still not been made to payback a dime, despite receiving almost 100 k from DEA and Carmen…think they should maybe make him pay a LITTLE of his restitution or back child support payments out of our tax dollars…..naaah!) instead, she moves him to the Vineyard and begins plotting to misuse her government authority to make sure her little ego was never bruised again.

    So the guy gets on the stand and describes his chance meeting…how they could allow him to perjure himself….I guess it gets easier after you do it enough! He testified that it wasn’t setup, he hhad nothing against Bob…as a matter of fact, he likes and respects him! Unfortunately, Bobs defense team had records to show that immediately following his release from supermax Marthas Vineyard, ha had begun calling Bobs office relentlessly (lie number 1) oh yeah, he testified…maybe I did call him, but I wasn’t trying to set him up…I like Bob! Are you sure, he was asked? Yes, I’m sure. You weren’t out to get him? No he testified. You weren’t mad at him? Of course not, he continued! That’s when the tapes were played…tapes of the informant calling people from the jail on the vineyard talking about how much he hated attorney George, and how he was going to fucking destroy him when he got out. He even talked about going to his office to split his fucking head open! (lie number 2!)

    Instead of a mistrial, the bruised ego AUSA allowed him to continue his lies…a true soldier of Carmen!!

    There was a small matter of the 100s of calls in the case that were not recorded…in the calls and meetings that were, by the way, there was one mention of drug money…the rat told Bob that if this first thing worked, he had some OTHER money from drugs (clearly showing that the money in question was NOT drug money) that he might need to give to the mortgage broker…Bob immediately said “are you fucking nuts…I’m a lawyer..IM NOT GOING TO GET INVOLVED IN SOMETHING LIKE THAT

    Back to the UNRECORDED calls…why didn’t you record them, the rat was asked. “because I didnt want my wife to know I was working for DEA…..cue the tape…..the tape of the rat telling his wife to call. (His contact at DEA) to tell him he needed him to straighten out a pending indictment in East Bridgewater. So, what about you not recording those calls, mr Rat? Your wife obviously knew you were working for DEA…she even knew your handlers name and number… To quote Ralph Kramden “humina humina humina” (lie NUMBER 3)

    I can’t go through every bit, but suffice it to say that this guy was destroyed by attorney Rob Goldstein, who proved that the whole case was based on a series of made up scenarios, willingly supported by Carmens political hacks (whoops..RICO!)…I mean dedicated prosecutor.

    Moving on …Bob, believing that his client had some money that he couldn’t deposit due to restitution/child support problems, introduced him to a mortgage broker, who, unbeknownst to Bob, laundered the money. How do we know Bob was in the dark? Because when the mortgage broker was arrested, he said so! He said Bob a) had no idea and B. Had never received a dime. How does Carmen’s crime family remedy that? They send the mortgage broker to meet with Bob OVER a YEAR later to PAY HIM HiS COMMISSION! Eventually, After refusing several times, they sent the guy with cash, which was FINALLY accepted. What happened to the Mortgage broker? He hired a silly little man who had just left Carmen’s public corruption unit months before…what a coincidence…the day he was first approached and threatened with arrest. After paying this former corruption fighter….Steve Huggard…over 100 grand…he was given probation….the guy that actually took the money and knowingly laundered it got off Scott free, while Bob was sentenced to over four years in prison. Boy was he lucky he picked the right name out of the yellow pages!

    . I could go on, but I’m afraid most have stopped reading, but I’d be happy to answer any questions that anyone that has read this far might have about this American horror story.

    1. Declan:

      Good writing. I’d have to figure anyone who started reading stayed on to the end. I knew Bob when he worked in the DAs office. He mostly worked with Bob Banks who was then the first assistant and a top notch lawyer who became a highly respected judge to finish out his career. I’d meet Bob off and on, not too many times, and talk briefly. I regret that I know so little about his case. I checked an saw he was arrested in March 2011. At that time I was far removed from the matters of the bar. It was not until Whitey got arrested that summer that I decided to get back involved and work on getting the book I had done on the Connolly trial which I had put away and just about forgotten about published figuring it would give a background on the case. Never having paid much attention to the feds I assumed (I guess like most people today) everything was all right in that courthouse even though I should have known better having been involved in the John Naimovich case. Then at the suggestion of my son I started this blog to give the book a little publicity. Bob’s case was going on as I was doing the background on Whitey and delving into matters relating to him so I never sunk my teeth into it. If I knew now about the U.S. attorney’s office I might have done more looking into it. I appreciate the information and your support for him.

  5. I knew the Justice Department and the FBI were pulling some shenanigans but only after reading your blog and then your book did I realize how systemic the problem was. If we can somehow elect a President who will appoint an Attorney General who truly believes in the Constitution perhaps we can stop this problem. My personal choice would be the Honorable Emmet Sullivan. He would definitely take them to task. This manufactured case against Mr. Flaherty really takes the cake. These people are power mad. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s and genuinely thought the FBI were the good guys. Now while I believe there are likely some very good and honorable agents they are forced to compromise their principles and turn a blind eye at the corruption within their midst.

    1. Hank:

      At the time I wrote my book I was quite naive about the U.S. Attorney’s office even thinking Wyshak was on the level. Watching it closely over the last three years I have had my eyes opened. I always thought the FBI was on the level but when I operated my units in Norfolk County I had very little to do with it because I never felt comfortable dealing with the agents. I never doubted their integrity but felt it was an uneven field; they expected information from me but did not feel a need to reciprocate. There was always a “we’re better than you” attitude. I didn’t need it since I knew we were as good as them in what we did. We did work with DEA and ATF without any problems.
      Like you I believe the are good and honorable agents but they work in a system that suppresses their goodness and compromises their honesty. Every one speaks as you and I do about the FBI noting it has a lot of good men; but how can it have done some of the less than right things that it does with all those good guys. It’s that the guys in there have to go along with the system established by Hoover that still continues today which requires them to cover-up any evil they may know about in house.

  6. There are a lot of Arab and Iranian young people, mostly college students in the area who are probably a sometimes target of prejudice and outright hate crime. And they’re not some vulnerable underclass. They’re affluent, educated, savvy, mostly Americans and in many cases not putting up with it. (They’ll sue). The victim probably had buyer’s remorse and decided to make a federal case. The fact that the federal case extended to a defense attorney is disturbing.

    New FBI Reality Series: “Better Not Call Saul.”

    As with the probation department story, I completely missed the issues at stake here even after reading the regular news stories, until I read Matt’s blog.

    On campus, these kind of tensions go back to the days of the Shah at Northeastern at least. I think a good part of the problem had to do with the fact that nearly all of the students the Shah kept sending over were males and all of the students at Northeastern were not. Also double parking one’s Camaro or a Trans Am in front of the Quad on Huntington Ave. was not only an effrontery but made jay walking there a real hazard.

    Hate speech wise, the Iranians back then could dish it out as well as take it. Northeastern’s solution was chalk boards in the Men’s Room.

    Those were simpler times…

    1. R:

      Those are good suppositions. It would be interesting to find out what made the victim go over to the federals when he did. What did he expect to get out of it? How did he know who to go to? Did he go to Wyshak’s unit or the FBI? It seems that within a week of being assaulted and hearing from Flaherty he was already cooperating with law enforcement. Why did he take the money and agree to let the charges be dismissed? If he wanted to prosecute the guy who assaulted him who allegedly had hate in his heart why didn’t he say to Flaherty I want to go on with the case? Why was Flaherty duped into thinking that he had a deal when he didn’t?

      Enjoyed your story about Northeastern of the past. Thanks.

  7. Thanks for the posts on this ridiculous matter Matt. It’s just one more example of FBI and U.S. Attorney arrogance. They waste time and money contriving white collar crime and seeing Al Quada bogeymen on the internet. Meanwhile, on our streets we have children shot off bikes in a city flooded with guns and heroin. That’s some of the real crime and real terrorism which the FBI and US Attorney should be working on to improve the lives of the citizens who they work for.

    1. Eyre:

      I agree. There are plenty or real criminals committing real crimes that you would think the FBI and DOJ would not have to go out an manufacture them. Maybe it is too hard for them to deal with the real crime preferring to do the silly stuff like here. It makes me wonder how well we are being protected from the terrorists. We saw how the FBI agents let Tsarnaev slip through their fingers; now we see what type of matters they were concentrating on.

  8. Matt:

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

    1. Douglas:

      That’s true but it is a sad commentary on our judicial system especially here in Boston where many of the judges have come from the US Attorney’s office and act as cheerleaders for the prosecutors.

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