Friday, December 17, 2004

Oh, OK -- you want more Kerik?

Here you go...

Kerik tied to lawyer indicted in mob gaming

Former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik dated an attorney in the early 1990s who was indicted in a multimillion-dollar, mob-run gambling ring.

Kerik, a Paterson native, and Hackensack attorney Linda George split shortly before George and her estranged husband were indicted by a Passaic County grand jury on allegations they owned a Paterson cafe used from 1988 until 1993 as a video gaming den.

Prosecutors described the storefront as part of a $26 million-a-year organized-crime gambling ring. Kerik and George lived together in an East Rutherford town house bought by Kerik in 1994 after the pair had dated for several years, according to people familiar with the situation.

Neither George nor her estranged husband, Marcello Ferreira, was convicted in the politically tinged case, as prosecutors permitted their corporation to plead guilty to the charges and pay a fine.

Indicted with George in the case were several prominent reputed organized-crime figures, including Fortunato "Frank" Inzone, a felon who served time in federal prison for conspiring to import heroin in the famed New York City "Pizza Connection" case. Inzone received 18 months' probation in the gambling case....

So: you got illegal gambling under the aegis of a corporation co-owned by Linda George. You got Kerik dating Linda George at the same time. And, oh, at the same time, Kerik's an NYC cop. Nice.

And remember Kerik's Jersey condo? The one that led to his arrest warrant? That was the town house mentioned in this story; according to Kerik's spokesman, he and Linda George retained ownership after the breakup and she agreed to pay the fees; the warrant was issued when she stopped paying.

That clears that up. I guess.

Linda George emerged from all this surprisingly unscathed:

George remains a Hackensack defense attorney.

Like Kerik, George withdrew her name from a nomination in recent days. George, a former Democratic aide in the state Senate and a friend of former U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli, had been nominated to the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission.

And look who some of Torricelli's benefactors have been:

In response to the growing investigations of Torricelli campaign financiers, Torricelli founded in 2000 a separate Legal Defense Fund.... According to FEC documents, waste management contractors Frank and Peter DiTommaso ... contributed $10,000 to this fund....

The Federal investigation of the DiTommaso brothers concerned their purchase of a Staten Island waste station controlled by Edward Garafola. who is married to the sister of former Gambino Family Underboss Sammy "The Bull" Gravano. Garafola was indicted in March 2000 along with Lawrence Ray, an executive of the DiTommaso brothers’ Interstate Industrial Corporation...

Lawrence Ray, of course, is the guy Kerik recommended to the DiTommasos to help improve their company's reputation, around the time Ray bankrolled Kerik's wedding.

On and on it goes....

(Story here. If that desn't work, try this Google search or this Free Republic thread.)

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