Infamous NJ Defense Attorney Convicted on 23 Counts
One of the legendary lawyers of New Jersey, Paul Bergrin, who defended multiple famous individuals was charged with over 30 counts including drug crimes, money laundering, and bribery in 2009. When brought before a jury, Bergrin was sentenced to six life sentences without parole.
LAUNDERING, RACKETEERING, & MURDER CONSPIRACY57-year-old Paul Bergrin was once a criminal defense attorney who represented a slew of celebrity clients, including Lil' Kim, Naughty by Nature, and Queen Latifah. Additionally, Bergrin defended an Army reservist charged in connection to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal as well as several well-known New Jersey gang members and drug kingpins. Despite a successful career as a defense attorney, Bergrin is now facing the reality of spending the rest of his life behind bars. In May 2009, Bergrin and several of his associates were arrested and charged with operating a criminal enterprise. Bergrin himself was charged on over 30 counts, including money laundering, racketeering, drug crimes, and setting up the murders of witnesses. A trial in March 2010 resulted in Bergrin's conviction on 23 counts. Prosecutors accused him of running a business that engaged in drug trafficking, murder, money laundering, prostitution, and bribery. One such murder plot was believed to have taken place in 2004, when Kemo Deshawn McCray was gunned down in Newark before he could testify against one of Bergrin's clients in court. On Monday, September 23 2013, Bergrin was sentenced in federal court to six life sentences without parole. Bergrin's lawyer says they plan to appeal both the sentence and the jury verdict.
Illegally Conducting an Enterprise in ArizonaAccording to A.R.S. 13-2312, a person is guilty of illegally conducting an enterprise in Arizona if they are employed by or associated with any enterprise and conducts business affairs through racketeering or participates--directly or indirectly--in the conduct of any enterprise that the person knows is being conducted through racketeering. Illegally conducting an enterprise is charged as a class 3 felony in AZ.
What is racketeering?In 1970, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act was signed into law in the United States. The purpose of the law was to eliminate organized crime in this country as it provided extended criminal penalties for offenses committed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. Though it was originally enacted to target the Mafia in the 70s, the use of the Act has become more widespread since its inception. Possibly the most significant part of the Act was its provisions which allowed leaders of an organized crime organization to be tried for crimes they ordered others to do, even if they were not present at the time of the offense.