A couple of days ago a report hit the media that 15 of 16 New York City attorneys, agreed to help in setting up set a scheme to launder dirty money coming from an undisclosed corrupt African official.
See the report directly from the non-profit UK-based group that handled the investigations here and the full-length video interviews of six New York City attorneys here.
Here are our "heroes", New York attorneys whose names I found in the reports:
- Lawrence M. Gabe
- Gerald Ross
- James Silkenat, the recent former president of the American Bar Association
- John H. Jankoff
- Marc Koplik
- Albert Grant
- Hugh Finnegan
In addition to the report and comment on statements of Mark Koplik in the article interlinked above, I would encourage you to listen to the entire video interview with Attorney Marc Koplik, it is extremely instructive - as to what legal elite thinks of themselves as a "privileged class" running the country, setting up its laws, ensuring their selective enforcement in their own favor and obtaining favors from local judges through judges with whom they went to law school, had lunch, are members of the same bar associations, or through local lawyers who know local judges, while they disdainfully consider themselves as "brains" and local attorneys as vehicles to the favors of a local judge with a heartbeat and a law license.
The main diatribe of attorney Koplik as to lawyers being a "privileged class" starts at around 43 minutes.
"They don't send lawyers to jail because we run the country. ... Still do ... Still do (smiling happily).
Undercover investigator: So you are some of them... Two of them...
Koplik: We are members of a privileged class in this country.
Investigator: So how... What does it mean you run the country? It means, you...
Koplik: (interrupting) It means we make the laws, and we do so we make them in a way that is advantageous to the lawyers.
Albert Grant: we make the laws and, some people say, we selectively enforce the laws. Laws are facts, you know. Laws are facts all the time. You can pass the law, but that doesn't mean the law is going to be enforced.
Koplik: another adage is "a good lawyer knows the law and a great lawyer knows the judge". In fact, I went to law school in half the judges sitting in New York City, Supreme and federal district courts in New York. That happens all the way over time.
People you have lunch with, people who are members of the bar association. Are they going to throw a case for you? No. But are they going to bend over backwards to be courteous to you? Yes, they are.
Investigator: As they say, it's not what you know, it's who you know, right?
Koplik: That's why for a local jurisdiction it pays to get a local lawyer, even if your brains are coming from New York or Chicago
And, of course, none of these attorneys - who readily agreed to devise schemes how to "scrub" (Koplik's word) the "honest grafts" (Koplik's words, meaning "bribes") of an African minister outside of the U.S. before bringing it in to invest it - at the initial price to Koplik of $50 000 to $100 000 plus an annual fee of $25,000 after that.
That is the price of Koplik's integrity - and that's from only one client.
Because he is sure nobody will discipline him and nobody will put him to jail. He knows too many judges in the area.
By the way, the only attorney who said "no" to this shady scheme, was attorney Jeffrey M. Hermann.
It Mr. Hermann about 30 seconds to say the following:
"no, I have higher standards than that" and to refuse to refer the "client" asking him to help with a shady money laundering scheme to anybody he knows because people "would be insulted" by such a referral.