Criminal Justice

3rd Circuit Says Ex-Prosecutor Accused of Plotting to Murder Witness Must Also Face RICO Charges

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Criminal defense lawyer Paul Bergrin must face federal racketeering charges in addition to a lengthy list of other counts, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Although a federal judge in Newark last year said the crimes of which he and other defendants are accused are too loosely connected to establish the criminal enterprise or pattern of racketeering activity required under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

It reinstated the RICO charges today against the former New Jersey state and federal prosecutor, who is accused of turning to violent crime to enhance his clients’ chance of success in the courtroom, according to the Associated Press.

A subsequent post provides a link to the court’s opinion and discusses what it says.

Accused of arranging to murder a witness against one client and attempting to hire a hit man to murder another, Bergrin faces conspiracy to murder and bribery charges, among other felony counts.

Earlier coverage: (Oct. 2009): “Judge Ends Probation in Brothel Case as Ex-Prosecutor Awaits Trial for Murder” (Nov. 2009): “Defense Attorney Gets Out of Solitary After Nearly 6 Months” (April 2010): “Judge Nixes RICO Charges, But Defense Lawyer Still Faces 36 Counts, Including Murder”

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