Sheldon Silver, Dean Skelos and his son Adam Skelos all got convicted for massive public corruption at the highest levels of government. Silver got sentenced to 12 years, Dean got 5 years, and Dean’s son Adam got 6.5 years. They appealed and their convictions got overturned on a technicality. The Supreme Court ruled that the instructions read to the jury made it too easy for the prosecutors to get a conviction. It was not made clear to the jury that not all acts of wheeling and dealing are illegal. Some acts may be just be sleezy, not necessarily against Federal laws. The Feds are preparing for new trials early next year.
I once met Sheldon Silver in the Catskills. Not in Federal prison in Otisville. I met him in a hotel at some kind of Jewish event. He was very friendly and down to earth, unlike self promoter Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, famous for being pedophile Michael Jackson’s spiritual mentor. Boteach was too important to talk to me when I met him in the Catskills. I guess Boteach is only impressed with rich pedophiles, and since I was not a rich pedophile he had no use for me.
Sheldon Silver was Speaker of the New York House Assembly. Dean Skelos was the leader of the Senate. Silver’s conviction was overturned some time ago. Skelos and his son just got their convictions overturned. Preet Bharara was in charge of the US Attorney’s Office for the Second Circuit at the time. Preet recently got fired by Donald Trump, in spite of the fact that The Donald assured him that he was going to keep his job. I guess Preet never watched the Apprentice. Preet’s father is a Sikh, his mother is Hindu, his wife’s father is Muslim and his wife’s grandfather is Jewish. With all that baggage did Preet really expect to keep his job with the Donald?
Preet now has a gig at NYU Law School as a “scholar in residence,” the same law school where John F. Kennedy Jr. graduated. It took JFK Jr. three times to pass the bar exam. Even Larry Noodles passed the bar on the first try. I heard that Preet’s job as scholar in residence will be to tutor the children of the rich and famous on how to pass the bar exam. In his spare time Preet blogs, podcasts, and tweets. He went from being a self righteous self promoter prosecutor to a self righteous self promoter media whore. After the Skelos conviction was overturned Preet tweeted: “As with Sheldon Silver, SDNY will retry Dean and Adam Skelos. Supreme Court made it harder to punish corruption, but justice should prevail here.” Tell us something we don’t already know Preet tweet. Justice will prevail here? Justice never prevails anywhere. The entire system is corrupt. Preet will never tweet the truth. He will hide behind his twitter and continue to see the world as black and white, good and evil, while he munches on a bagel with a shmear in his Westchester mansion. Expect Preet tweet to follow in the footsteps of other former US prosecutors and enter politics, and join the ranks of Andrew Cuomo, Elliott Spitzer, Richard Blumenthal and Rudy Giuliani. He is currently laying the groundwork with tweets and twerks. He is following the playbook of the guy who fired him.
Anthony Weiner got sentenced the other day to 21 months for sending a naked picture of himself to a minor. There are literally thousands of Federal and State criminal laws, statutes and regulations. Weiner’s hobby was sending pics of himself to grown women. A 15 year old high school girl wanted to make some money by selling pictures of Weiner’s weiner to a British tabloid. She begged Weiner to send pics. He eventually complied. She cashed in with the British rag and went on a shopping spree with her girlfriends at the local mall. Meanwhile, Weiner is getting ready to go to jail.
Everyone knows it is illegal to have sex with a minor, but is anyone aware of Title 18, Section 1470 of the Federal Statutes, which states: “Whoever, using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly transfers obscene matter to another individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, knowing that such other individual has not attained the age of 16 years, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.” This law makes it a crime to send just one picture to a 15 year old girl, as long as you know she is a minor. If she never told Weiner she was a minor he may have had a defense. Or Weiner could have argued that even though she told him she was 15 years old, he didn’t really believe it, he was just playing along, he really thought she was 18. She never produced her birth certificate. The law is not so clear on what is legal and what is illegal. My best jailhouse lawyer advice is this: the next time you start chatting with a strange girl online demand to see her birth certificate.
The law that Weiner violated was passed in 1998. It doesn’t even mention the internet. Yet the Feds used this obscure law to bust Mr. Weiner. Prosecutorial discretion gives the Feds the power, or discretion, to bust Anthony Weiner and not bust the millions of other people who violate this law every day. The law doesn’t instruct the Federal prosecutor to reduce the charge if the victim is a 15 year old girl looking to sell Weiner’s weiner to a British tabloid. Congress empowered the Federal prosecutor as judge, jury, and executioner. Today it is Weiner, tomorrow it may be you. Americans fought the Revolutionary War to end British tyranny, yet today American is ruled by many little tyrants working out of cubicles in US Attorney’s Offices.
The point of the law Weiner was prosecuted is to protect children from the evil influences of pornography. Yet your average high school kid has already seen more pornography on one google search than Larry Flint saw in his entire lifetime. Full disclosure: Larry Flint has no relation to Larry Noodles. Larry Flint started Hustler magazine. Larry Noodles started the Larry Noodles blog.
You don’t get ten years in jail for having sex with a minor, yet if you send a single picture over the internet, you go to jail for ten years. There are many irrational criminal laws like this throughout the Federal statutes. The government has purged the blue laws from the statutes, ie., the laws that make it a crime to spit in public or curse, yet these draconian criminal laws remain, giving the Feds unlimited power to arrest, prosecute and imprison anyone they want. Don’t take my word for it, read what the Cato Institute has to say in this article: “The Criminalization of Almost Everything” citing Alan Dershowitz, who frequently quotes the Soviet Union’s playbook, “Show me the man and I will find you the crime.”
Weiner chose to plead guilty and got 21 months jail time from a Clinton appointed judge. The prosecutors recommended between 21 and 27 months. The public wanted to see Weiner pay the price for his crimes. He has been sending pics to adult women over the internet for many years, which is perfectly legal. Weiner got punished for acts that he was not even charged with. It is not clear where Weiner will be incarcerated. The Judge doesn’t have any influence over the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Weiner didn’t ask that the judge recommend that he be sent anywhere at sentencing. Weiner may end up in Otisville, the low security prison “camp” for Jews. Weiner will be a laughingstock in Otisville surrounded by guys who are locked up for scamming millions of dollars.
Last night someone sent me a clip from a radio talk show where they were discussing which prison Weiner would end up. One guy named “Joe” called in and said he was incarcerated for 7 months in Otisville two years ago, he said he hauled trash for the mafia. He told the radio guys that 80 guys in the unit were Hasidic Jews. The announcers asked him if he learned how to speak Yiddish? He said he learned a number of words such as “shay-getz” and “tzis tzis.” The announcers laughed. Joe said he worked in the sewer plant at Otisville. I think I know this Joe character. We called him “Little Joe” to differentiate him with “Big Joe.” Big Joe weighed in at about 450 pounds, while Little Joe was much smaller, probably about 300 pounds.
Dean Skelos got sentenced to double the time as Weiner, yet Skelos was charged with many counts of public corruption, including kickbacks, extortion, bribery which spanned over many years. Weiner should have sold his office and made millions of dollars like Skelos. Going to jail for two years for sending a pic over the internet, and not making any money? Whats the point? Judge Kimbra Wood should have laughed at Weiner and sentenced him to two years filling in potholes in Brooklyn.
It is going to cost Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver a fortune in attorneys fees when they get tried again. Dean Skelos is 69 years old. Sheldon Silver is 73. If they were convicted in England, Italy, Spain, Greece or France they would have avoided a lengthy jail sentence, as these countries grant amnesty and partial amnesty for people over 60 years old. You won’t find such compassion in the Department of Justice. The Feds usually ask for a lot more time than they actually want, knowing that the judge will knock it down a notch.
At sentencing Skelos, who was from Nassau County, Long Island, got many letters of support from Jewish politicians. Senator Simcha Felder wrote to the judge: “Mr. Skelos visited my elderly 95-year old mother… the level of compassion that he exuded was tremendous. He left such an impression with my mother, that she mentioned his name time and time again following the visit, and said, “Senator Skelos personifies the word ‘mensch.’” If Felder’s bubbe says that Skelos is a mensch, that should be enough to set him free. In the Second Circuit there is a rule that judges cannot sentence anyone to jail if Simcha Felder’s bubbe says that he is a mensch. It’s called the Bubbe Get Out of Jail Free card.
Another character letter spoke about how Skelos risked his life traveling to the Soviet Union to free Jews behind the Iron Curtain: “Consider the year 1984. It was prior to the break-up of the evil Soviet Empire. It was a time that Long Island Jewry was crying out for its people trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Dean joined several rabbis and brought religious items to Soviet Jews in contravention to Soviet prevention of religious freedom. He flew to Moscow with these rabbis, all knowing that the probability of arrest and seizure was real! This man joined Long Island religious leaders to show solidarity and personal Commitment to a beleaguered and religiously persecuted people. This was an act of bravery.” Talk about piling it on. The Federal judges could care less about these alleged acts of bravery. 5 years incarceration, next case.
In Dean’s sentencing memo, his lawyers quoted from a letter of support submitted by Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, of the Kamenetzky rabbinical dynasty of Lakewood, New Jersey: “During the terrible period of Hurricane Sandy, never did a phone call go unanswered, despite the scores of calls, meetings, encounters and requests that I presented to Mr. Skelos, not once, did he ever ask me for anything in return – not a fundraiser, not a parlor meeting, not a letter. Unlike any other politician I have ever met, Dean Skelos, always conducted himself in a manner that engendered true friendship and the ideals of good government.” The Rabbi is basically saying that other than Dean, all the politicians he met are corrupt. The Rabbi should make a citizen’s arrest, a dragnet. Rabbi Kamenetzky concluded: “I humbly ask Your Honor, to take into consideration the decades of selfless devotion and his wholehearted commitment to the greater good. We beseech you to be merciful in the sentencing…” Please! In the name of the Father, the son and the Holy Goat, I hereby summon the power of Hashem and / or the power of nature, whatever works, to cause the high exalted Federal sentencing judge to pardon Sir Skelos of Sparta.
Rabbi Kamenetzky may know Rabbi Notis of Lakewood, NJ, as they hang out in the same circles. Rabbi Notis runs the Goat’s school for shnorrers looking to cash in on Goat dollars. I wonder if Rabbi Notis will submit a character letter on behalf of the Goat when the Goat is sentenced for his crimes. But the Goat has no redeeming qualities to speak of. The Goat never helped anyone during Hurricane Sandy. The Goat never traveled to Russia and risked his life saving Jews. The only good deed the Goat did was plant trees in the Edgewood neighborhood. But the City of New Haven paid the Goat tens of thousands of dollars to plant those trees. The Goat never watered those trees, in spite of the pictures the Goat posted of himself on his website holding a bucket of water and a hose. I have been driving up and down Whalley Avenue for the last 20 years and not once have I ever seen the old Goat watering a tree.