blindfolded lady justice
At times Lady Justice wins big

Refresh your gossip memories:
when big names break laws,
they join gallery of losers...

Leno should pay talent fees...

nick nolte
Nice guy Nick Nolte paid a huge exposure price
by getting nabbed while driving under influence
of too many adult beverages...late night comics
revel in repeated uses of this cop house image.

Everyone applauded the Queen of Mean...

leona helmsley
When Leona Helmsley was arrested by the Feds
for a bunch of charges, damned few sent her
flowers. When Leona Helmsley, ex-con, left
millions to her mutt for care and caviar, her
hired help stomped on her grave.

Even the Queen of Taste tripped up...

martha stewart
When the Feds said Martha Stewart was
dealing a bit shady with securities laws,
they gave her a perp walk, a conviction,
what amounts to hard time in the Fed Fem
Pen in Alderson, WV. Martha paid the
price, did the time, and now on top. Again.

Big time big dog bit into the wrong sport...

michael vick
Michael Vick made 12 cents an hour
doing prison chores when he went to
the Big House for owning pit bulls for
fighting purposes. The Atlanta Falcons
quarterback, still in the penal system,
will have lost some $25 million when
he walks free. PETA Man of the Year
he ain't.

Pope's playboy becomes prison bitch...

raffaello follieri
When the Catholic church paid out millions during their legal problems, they had to sell sacred properties. Playboy Raffaello Follieri saw opportunity. He conned millions from suckers who thought they were about to buy fire sale properties from the Vatican. Actress Anne Harhaway, then his regular, smacks him goodbye for good. Follieri now plays in a Fed concrete resort.

Jack Bauer can't stay on right side of iron cage...

keifer sutherland
What does the TV series 24 do during winter
break? Hard charging star Keifer Sutherland
spent one winter 48-day DUI sentence in a warm
California jail for driving while boozed. Afterwards he
owed the state 18 days for violating probation. He
later started an 18-month alky-ed classroom gig;
also six months of weekly alky-therapy sessions.

Ken Lay did the perp walk but beat the rap...

keifer sutherland
Ken Lay, CEO of a House of Cards called Enron, was found guilty by Texas Feds of insider stock trading, fraud and a clutter if all sorts of funny money handling. He was a big dog in Texas, a big donor to various funds involving the George Bush clan. Enron fell apart, the Lay followers lost millions. But Ken Lay managed to beat hard time. He died in is own bed. Millions did not mourn.

Hollywood private eye jailed for 15 years...

tony pellicano
Good call. He had it coming. Tony Pellicano bugged superstars. He played both ends of his client list...oh, on a few names such as Tom Cruise, Michael Jackson and several names on the directors' list. He was accused of bugging phones of Sly Stallone. He was accuded of paying off L. A. cops for access to police records to make a case for his clients. His specialty, besides wire tapping, was searching for dirty secrets to use as blackmail. Now he has one for himself.

Snipes makes Dumb Ass Celebrities list...

wesley snipes
Bad tax advice put actor Wesley Snipes in a Fed jug for three hard years. That advice? One of those nut cases who writes books suggesting Uncle Sam's income tax laws are unconstitutional found a believer in Snipes. Uncle objects to such. Snipes, Fed prosecutors charged, spent years cheating Uncle out of some $41 million. While Uncle is still going after chunks of any cash he has stashed, Snipes for eternity shall be known as a Dumb Ass Celebrity. He's made that august list compiled by blogger William D. McCray III -

Limpbag mugged and finger printed...

rush limbaugh
Betcha didn't know. America's top rated (confirmed by TALKERS Magazine) radio star talker Rush Limbaugh once paid the price for what is known as doctor shopping. Florida gendarmes (Palm Beach County's finest) passed on any perp walk when he turned himself in for booking. Regardless of any seriousness of the bust, top criminal lawyers arranged a ticket out...provided he undergo addiction counseling and avoid any later arrests. He did pay a fine of about $30,000 and court costs...petty cash from his Mason jar. The felony was for securing multiple prescriptions for painkillers from more than one doc. His maid did him in. She no longer works in his house. Being good in eyes of the law for 18 months, the felony rap was dropped.

Dressed for the bust...

adam ballingall
All this started when Adam Ballingall dressed properly for Halloween. But then in a very meta moment he found himself and a couple of buddies involved with something called pot. Cruising cops spotted the trio in a parking lot with little wafts of sweet smelling smoke arising. Once approached by the uniforms, a fight broke out. His cronies were cited for pot and walked. Ballingall was hit a bit harder...he took a collar for cocaine possession and disorderly conduct. If I had been prosecuting this case, I would have asked the court to have him appear in his lockup attire.

Gems from The Smoking Gun:
To hell with TV crime...
Here's real gossip turned
into fact by their mugshots;
A prosecutor's playground.



Boldface Busts

Too many get short raps for
polite 'White Collar' crimes;
Ponzi's history, meet Madoff

For a hundred years my people have prosecuted the Carlo Ponzis of the nation for all sorts of crimes against The People. Most are variations of what we call the Ponzi Scheme. Few, if any, of the charges involved gangster stuff such as murder, arson, kidnapping, rape, burglary, drug sales, shootings or stickups. Ponzi set the standards for one specific type of "white collar crime." WCCs include fraudulent financial schemes, investment fraud, embezzlement, and theft by deception (as opposed to theft while wielding a gun or a club - as O. J. Simpson did).Simpson is doing hard time as a boldface bust...his name now appears in a contrasting typeface, no longer in gossip columns, but on his rap sheet.

Ponzi is passe. Meet Bernie Madoff. Ponzi made off with millions. Madoff's Ponzi-like crimes involve billions.

Shall we say in the case of Madoff, the jury's still out. For background, meet Ponzi.

Carlo Ponzi

Bernie Madoff     (Reuters)

The Ponzi facts:
Born: 3 March 1882
Died: 1949
Birthplace: Lugo, Italy
Best known as: The guy behind the Ponzi Scheme
Carlo Ponzi was an Italian immigrant who bilked millions of dollars out of thousands of hopeful investors in the 1920s, in what has since become known as a Ponzi Scheme. Ponzi arrived in the U.S. in 1903, then made his way to Canada by 1908. After a jail term for forgery, Ponzi was arrested for smuggling aliens into the U.S. and ended up in a federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia. He settled in Boston and worked as a dishwasher for years before coming up with a plan to get rich. In 1919 he formed the Securities Exchange Company (SEC), promising financial success by converting foreign postage coupons into U.S. currency. Ponzi promised returns too good to be true. And they were: early investors were paid off with money from new investors; there was no real investment going on, just cash distribution. (The approach is also known as a "pyramid scheme.") Beginning in late 1919 and early 1920, Ponzi moved as much as $15 million from thousands of investors, eventually using 35 branch offices. The scheme fell apart eight months later and Ponzi was convicted of embezzlement. His legal troubles dragged on for years. He was in and out of jail in the U.S. until 1934, when he was deported to Italy. He worked briefly for Benito Mussolini and then landed a job in Brazil, where he died destitute in 1949. (Google Research)

The Madoff facts:
Fraud ( Indictment Pending )
24 December 2008
Multiple investigations in progress; Madoff has confessed to a Ponzi-type scheme involving $50 billion; he is currently under house arrest in his $7 million NYC penthouse.

Details: Google, or daily delivery of the Wall Street Journal. Madoff's confessed crimes have had worldwide reverberations involving charities, banks, hedge funds and investment funds across the EU, the UK and free world. EU and UK details: The Financial News,


Credit Las Vegas court system
for bagging O.J. Simpson; the
ultimate Boldface Bust…

O.J. Simpson is a Boldface Bust, Big time. He is a famous person – a former football star, once-respected corporate spokesman, football commentator, and successful actor. He has been in and out of big-time courtrooms for the last 20 years.

The police made utter fools of themselves in 1994. I watched them on television following “The Juice” in the longest, slowest, most pathetic car chase in American law enforcement history.

A young prosecutor back then, I was astounded by the way the California police pussy-footed around with a man charged with murdering two human beings - his wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. If the man in the white Ford Bronco SUV had not been a Boldface Bust about to happen, the police would have converged upon him from all directions and taken him into immediate custody – with guns blazing, if necessary.

Boldface types are treated better than your average punk criminals in the U. S. If O.J. had been a common street punk, the police would have squashed him like a bug on that California freeway.

oj glove
My mother watched the trial on live television – as millions of Americans did. The so-called “trial of the century” was a circus and deep-dish embarrassment to criminal justice professions around the country. What a farce. What a miscarriage of justice. The world laughed at the American criminal justice system – and rightly so. I am still blushing – after all these years.

So, what happened in that double murder trial? The evidence of guilt was incredibly strong. In a classic case of jury nullification, the jury ignored the law and acquitted the Boldface. More than half the U.S. population watched as the verdicts were read on live television. I witnessed it too – in utter disbelief and with deep-down disappointment.

Less than a year and a half later, using the same evidence, a different jury in a civil case unanimously found Simpson liable for the wrongful death of Ronald Goldman and for battery against Nicole Brown. The jury in that case did the right thing. They followed the law.

Did O.J. get prison time? Not a day. Not a moment. Why? Prison is not an option for the loser in a civil case. Money. Civil cases are all about money. The jury awarded money damages to the victims' families - most of which will never be paid. How much closure can money bring to grieving families who have had loved ones ripped from their lives? Absolutely none. Some satisfaction – yes. Closure - never.

Las Vegas – September 2007 – Simpson leads a group of ragtag men into a hotel room where they steal $100,000 worth of sports memorabilia - at gunpoint. Simpson was charged with major felonies.

October 2008 – a Nevada jury finds O.J. guilty on all twelve counts – exactly 13 years, to the day, after his murder acquittals. Wow, is that synchronicity.

What was the man thinking when he walked into that hotel room and committed burglary, robbery, assault, and kidnapping – all with a deadly weapon? Probably not much thinking going on there. Lots of hormones and lots of arrogance – that is what was going on.

I saw Simpson cry big, wet, crocodile tears and apologize to the judge before she imposed sentence. Do I think he was sincere? Not. Fake. Fake. Fake. He was sorry alright, sorry he got caught and sorry he was not able to wriggle out of justice this time.

The Nevada jurors were for real, and the no-nonsense female judge saw O.J. Simpson as the criminal he is - stripped of any fame status. The judge imposed a sentence of up to 33 years in prison with a possibility of parole in 9 years. “The Juice” did not walk.

But wait. Did Simpson really get his payback this time around the courthouse? No way. In truth, O.J., the notorious, dodged yet another silver bullet. After all, he could have been sentenced to life.

Perhaps, O.J. - the ultimate Boldface in both news and gossip columns - is laughing at us – yet again. If so, however, the laugh is muffled, for he is laughing inside a Nevada desert prison. Over time his name in print will fade in both ink and memory.

6 December 2008

lady justice EDITOR'S NOTE: C. A. Nix has a prosecutor's awareness. She has a prosecutor's perspective. In all she writes, she represents the People of the United States of America.
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© 2008 C.A. Nix