CORRUPTION IN NEW JERSEY'S JUDICIARY AND LEGAL SYSTEM: Passaic County prosecutor and Judge collude and throw innocent man in jail after he discovered conspiracy against him by Passaic County sheriffs
Dr. Basilis N. Stephanatos, Ph.D., P.E., J.D., Q.E.D.
THE SERIOUSLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL CASE OF STATE V. BASILIS STEPHANATOS
Tax foreclosure companies in New Jersey (American Tax Funding, LLC, and others see for example this link: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-new-jersey-investors-plead-guilty-their-roles-bid-rigging-schemes-municipal-tax-lien) failed to follow the Anti-eviction laws and the Summary Dispossess Act and obtained a writ for removal without a hearing before a law-division judge - they basically used a self-certification and fooled the Office of Foreclosure in Trenton that had no jurisdiction over his real estate property as he had objected to the legal proceedings and no issues were ever adjudicated.
American Tax Funding, LLC, Robert Del Vecchio, Esq. and others also lied to the sheriff that he had threatened them with violence if they try to evict him from his home that he fully owned (no mortgage on the home). The sheriff then lied to the grand jurors that he displayed a gun at them and lied that they were injured.
In any event, five years ago, the grand jury indicts Dr. Stephanatos based on the fraudulent grand jury presentation and the willful failure to disclose to the Grand Jury clearly exculpatory evidence. In 2011, Dr. Stephanatos asked for speedy trial, but that never happened.
In early 2016, Dr. Stephanatos had been publishing in a blog the proceedings of the meritless criminal case against him. Based on the publishing, a good Samaritan came forward who provided evidence that Dr. Stephanatos was framed by Passaic County sheriff officers Lucas and d'Agostino. In his blog, Dr. Stephanatos has been complaining about the violation of hisspeedy trial rights: the delay of the case is now at 5.5 years and running!
In March 2016, and in order to prevent the spreading of the truth, the Passaic county prosecutor, Peter Roby, then claimed that Dr. Stephanatos was crazy and that he must be submitted for psychiatric evaluation. He also claimed that the State’s witnesses could be threatened by Dr. Stephanatos.
Dr. Stephanatos' lawyer, Mr. Miles Feinstein, Esq of Clifton, NJ vehemently opposed the incarceration as violative of his first amendment rights, etc. In any event, they locked him up at the Bergen county jail from March 21, 2016 through May 25, 2016. During the last two weeks of his jail time, a state physiologist came and evaluated him. He found him intelligent, sane and competent. When Dr. Stephanatos asked him why it took them two months to show-up at the jail to evaluate him, he said he only got the assignment during the last week of April 2016.
Dr. Stephanatos then filed a complaint against judge de la Carrera (the judge who ordered his incarceration) with the presiding judge Ernest Capossela. Judge Capossela immediately dismissed Judge de la Carrera from the case and started presiding over the case on his own. He said that what de la Carrera and Passaic county prosecutor, Peter Roby, did was illegal and unconstitutional, as no threats were ever made by Dr. Stephanatos against anyone. All this stuff is in on the record. He made these statements and much more in open court on May 26, 2016 when he ordered Dr. Stephanatos' release.
After more than five years on bail, the accuser, Ronald A. Lucas (a sheriff employee) is convicted for insurance fraud for faking his injury. The judge in Dr. Stephanatos' case is fired by the assignment judge, who then proceeds to dismiss the case for a number of reasons: violation of speedy trial rights, perjured testimony, failure to provide discovery, misleading the grand jury, prosecutorial misconduct.
Dr. Stephanatos suffered significant economic and non-economic losses. Many millions in damages.
In addition to the loss of his freedom and the loss of his dignity, he also lost income, family time, etc. You can understand.
The criminal case against Dr. Stephanatos is meritless, that is why it has been delayed for 5.5 years and counting. They have not even provided discovery!
Here are some links regarding Dr. Stephanatos' criminal case:
FORMER PASSAIC COUNTY SHERIFF OFFICER RONALD A. LUCAS LIED DURING HIS GRAND JURY TESTIMONY WHEN HE CLAIMED THAT HE INJURED HIS LEFT SHOULDER DURING A FALL AT A WAYNE TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY PROPERTY. HE IN FACT HAD PRIOR INJURIES BY PLAYING FOOTBALL FOR MANY YEARS AND LIFTING WEIGHTS
As part of an investigation we have been performing, we discovered that Ronald A. Lucas, a former Passaic County sheriff officer with the Civil Division lied about his on-the-job shoulder injury. Lucas claimed that he fell on the job on June 28, 2011 at 687 Indian Road, Wayne, NJ and that he injured his left shoulder requiring several pins. He then filed a disability claim with the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits (Police and Firemen Retirement System). He was granted disability for one year with subsequent review. After he retired with claimed disability, he obtained a job as part-time security guard at the Pequannock High School.
We discovered that Mr. Lucas suffered shoulder injuries while playing football and lifting heavy weights over his lifetime. He was a linebacker with the Pompton Lakes Cardinals, using his shoulder to hit and tackle his opponents during practice and during football games. We are attaching a picture showing that he was #41 in the Cardinal’s Pompton Lake football team. Lucas has fallen on his shoulder probably thousand times during his athletic and training career.
Everybody knows that linebackers hit and tackle their opponents using their shoulders. These athletes also lift heavy weights and they end-up injuries their shoulders. He even made the All County Team in 1980, showing how hard he was working out. Based on our investigation, we found that weight lifting athletes do suffer shoulder injuries of the type claimed by Lucas.
He also trained his two sons (Dean Lucas and Ronnie Lucas) into playing TE and DE positions also with the Cardinals football team. In fact, linebackers suffer at least 13.5 percent of all football injuries and at least 65 percent of the linebackers end up undergoing surgery.
We have obtained photos showing Mr. Lucas lifting weights, after his alleged job-ending disability. See for example the attached image that is dated December 2013.
It is obvious to a reasonable and objective person that Lucas (in his mid-50s) took this incident on June 28, 2011 to claim on-the job-injury to be able to repair his previously injured shoulder at taxpayers’ expense and to retire and then blame Basilis Stephanatos for his injuries. After he retired, he started the double dipping. The finest of New Jersey at "work". But he was caught and he will face the consequences.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 30, 2013
Two New Jersey Investors Plead Guilty for Their Roles in Bid-rigging Schemes at Municipal Tax Lien Auctions
Investigation Has Yielded 14 Guilty Pleas
Two financial investors who purchased municipal tax liens pleaded guilty today for their roles in a conspiracy to rig bids at auctions conducted by New Jersey municipalities for the sale of those tax liens, the Department of Justice announced.
A felony charge was filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, against Robert U. Del Vecchio Sr., of Hawthorne, N.J. According to the charge, from in or about 2000 until approximately December 2008, Del Vecchio Sr. participated in a conspiracy to rig bids at auctions for the sale of municipal tax liens in New Jersey by agreeing to allocate among certain bidders which liens each would bid on. Additionally, a felony charge was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark, against Michael Mastellone, of Cedar Knolls, N.J. for participating in a similar conspiracy from in or about 2000 until approximately February 2009. The department said that Del Vecchio Sr. and Mastellone proceeded to submit bids in accordance with the agreements and purchased tax liens at collusive and non-competitive interest rates.
“By conspiring to rig the bids of municipal tax liens, the conspirators profited at the expense of those already struggling financially,” said Scott D. Hammond, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program. “Protecting Americans from these types of bid-rigging schemes remains a high priority for the division.”
The department said the primary purpose of the conspiracy was to suppress and restrain competition in order to obtain selected municipal tax liens offered at public auctions at non-competitive interest rates. When the owner of real property fails to pay taxes on that property, the municipality in which the property is located may attach a lien for the amount of the unpaid taxes. If the taxes remain unpaid after a waiting period, the lien may be sold at auction. State law requires that investors bid on the interest rate delinquent property owners will pay upon redemption. By law, the bid opens at 18 percent interest and, through a competitive bidding process, can be driven down to zero percent. If a lien remains unpaid after a certain period of time, the investor who purchased the lien may begin foreclosure proceedings against the property to which the lien is attached.
According to the court documents, Del Vecchio Sr. and Mastellone were involved in the conspiracy with others not to bid against one another at municipal tax lien auctions in New Jersey. Since the conspiracy permitted the conspirators to purchase tax liens with limited competition, each conspirator was able to obtain liens which earned a higher interest rate. Property owners were therefore made to pay higher interest on their tax debts than they would have paid had their liens been purchased in open and honest competition, the department said.
A violation of the Sherman Act carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals. The maximum fine for a Sherman Act violation may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if either amount is greater than the $1 million statutory maximum.
Today’s pleas are the 13th and 14th guilty pleas resulting from an ongoing investigation into bid rigging or fraud related to municipal tax lien auctions. Nine individuals – Isadore H. May, Richard J. Pisciotta Jr., William A. Collins, Robert W. Stein, David M. Farber, Robert E. Rothman, Stephen E. Hruby, David Butler and Norman T. Remick – and three companies – DSBD LLC, Crusader Servicing Corp. and Mercer S.M.E. Inc. – have previously pleaded guilty as part of this investigation.
Today’s charges were brought in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s New York Office and the FBI’s Atlantic City, N.J., office. Anyone with information concerning bid rigging or fraud related to municipal tax lien auctions should contact the Antitrust Division’s New York Office at 212-335-8000, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm or contact the Atlantic City Resident Agency of the FBI at 609-677-6400.