After months of criticism by certain conservative special interest groups questioning her nomination for Attorney General, Loretta Lynch publicly responded to a question posed by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch—a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee—in a recent article.
According to a spokesperson from Senator Hatch’s office, Ms. Lynch was not in a position to respond to the numerous allegations when these criticisms were initially raised and he wanted to give her a chance to answer the question of whether she had complied with federal laws that ensure restitution is provided to crime victims.
In 2013, law professor, Paul Cassell, had urged the House Judiciary Committee to review how Ms. Lynch’s office had handled a case involving Felix Sater. In 1998, Mr. Sater pleaded guilty to fraud charges, agreed to assist the government with issues of national security and was ultimately sentenced by the Court to pay a $25,000 fine justified on numerous grounds and seemingly in gratitude for his service to his country. In the interest of national security, the safety of Mr. Sater, and other reasons related to his government cooperation, the court sealed his records.
Ms. Lynch told Sen. Hatch in a letter that Sater’s assistance was critical to national security, “The defendant in question, Felix Sater, provided valuable and sensitive information to the government during the course of his cooperation, which began in or about December 1998. For more than 10 years, he worked with prosecutors from my Office, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and law enforcement agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies, providing information crucial to national security and the conviction of over 20 individuals, including those responsible for committing massive financial fraud and members of La Cosa Nostra. For that reason, his case was initially sealed.”
Indeed, Ms. Lynch confirmed the propriety of her actions with respect to Mr. Sater’s case, his extraordinary cooperation, and especially his unprecedented assistance regarding matters involving our national security. Additionally, she emphasized that every court, right up to the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected all claims of any impropriety with respect to Mr. Sater’s case.
Although several Conservative groups supposedly raised the questions about Ms. Lynch, there is supposition by Felix Sater’s legal team that this could be a legal ploy by attorneys for Jody Kriss—who is currently suing Mr. Sater along with numerous companies, law firms and other high profile, deep pocket defendants, to manufacture a defense for themselves in order to elude potential prosecution on criminal contempt charges.
These baseless claims against Ms. Lynch are also part of a failed attempt to glorify the otherwise corrupt efforts of lawyers, Paul Cassell, Frederick Oberlander and Richard Lerner to expose the alleged impropriety of the sealing of Mr. Sater’s case, and his $25,000 fine, as part of a claimed victims rights’ crusade. This was designed to conceal from the public the true motive of Oberlander and Lerner’s campaign—described in court proceedings as an effort to extort Mr. Sater, major law firms and others by seeking one billion dollars ostensibly to line only their own pockets and not give one dollar to or protect alleged victims entitled to restitution.
Kriss along with his attorneys, Frederick M. Oberlander and Richard E. Lerner, have engaged in a contemptuous seven year legal battle, which has included the filing of a slew of frivolous lawsuits, and attempts to use Mr. Sater’s stolen court sealed files. It has also resulted in a Federal Judge referring Oberlander and Lerner to the Department of Justice for criminal contempt investigation.
Mr. Sater’s counsel believe Oberlander and Lerner have now attacked Loretta Lynch as a pretext to attempt to mask their possible criminal prosecution as retaliation for questioning Ms. Lynch’s nomination.
About R Wolf
Robert Wolf is the Chair of Moses & Singer’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Government Investigations practice group, Chair of the Securities Litigation practice group and Co-Chair of the Litigation group.
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