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Monday, July 11, 2005

Rove's Lawyer Known to Take Payment in Gold Bars

From Talking Points Memo:

Rove attorney Robert D. Luskin has made a series of, shall we say, contradictory statements over the last week or so, each necessitated by further revelations about his client's conduct.

So I was curious: Is Robert D. Luskin the sort of lawyer who never gets caught in a fib or a misstatement on his client's behalf? Or is he a bit more fast and loose?...

One case that jumps out at you is his representation of Stephen A. Saccoccia.

Saccoccia and his wife Donna were eventually convicted of laundering more than a hundred million dollars for various Colombian drug kingpins. Stephen is currently serving a 660 year sentence. Their racket was laundering drug money through companies which traded in precious metals.

Saccoccia was convicted in 1993. And Luskin took up his case on appeal.

Eventually the Feds got the idea that the money Saccoccia had paid Luskin and his other attorneys for their services was itself part of the $137 million in drug money he was ordered to forfeit. Now, on the face of it this seems a bit unfair since under our system everyone is entitled to good representation and how was Luskin to know it was tainted money.

Well, the prosecutors thought he should have gotten some inkling when Saccoccia started paying Luskin's attorney's fees in gold bars.

Yep, you heard that right. Luskin got paid more than $500,000 of his attorney's fees in gold bars from his client who was trying to appeal his conviction on charges that he laundered drug money through precious metals dealers. Who woulda thought that was drug money?...