Saturday, February 28, 2009

Respose To a Friend Who is a Supporter of Amnesty International

The tone of comments regarding FBI...

Dear Joseph:
I do not appreciate some of the tone of the comments regarding the FBI.  I realize that you feel that they have not been sufficiently responsive to you. I also found that the FBI did not properly respond to my initial complaints and concerns and did not realize the seriousness of what happened to me. 
I also recognize that the FBI does not investigate every complaint and can't follow every lead.  You will not win any justice by continuing to place more and more in front of them. " 

  • Dear Friend:

  • First of all - thanks for the response. 

  • The FBI allows Countrywide and the LA Superior Court to run on me a show trial of the kind that used to be the hallmark of the Soviet Union

  • Two weeks ago, Feb17, 2009 was the second time that Countrywide went to court to issue against me judgment of contempt and sanctions for 10s of thousands of dollars.  It is quasi-criminal procedure. And I am routinely threatened with jailing. 
  • But the trial is all fake:
  • Countrywide for two year is appearing and on all its papers it designates itself - "NON- PARTY". But there is no such thing in litigation.  So the court uses interchangeably "DEFENDANT", "PLAINTIFF", "INTERVENOR", "CROSS-DEFENDANT", "REAL PARTY IN INTEREST". But that cannot be in a real litigation. Talk with anybody who has a law degree.

  • Is it only against me?

  • The answer is no, it is against all who live in LA County.  The FBI knows for 10 or 20 years about the corruption of the courts in Los Angeles, but would not do anything.  They told me numerous times that they have no jurisdiction against state judges.  That is false. In recent months alone, they indicted judges in In new York (December 2008) and Pennsylvania (February 2009).

  • But in LA they allow widespread corruption of the courts, with the result that we have 10,000 people, mostly black and latinos, mostly U.S. citizens (not that it matters, all humans have certain rights), who are CONFIRMED INNOCENT, YET FALSELY IMPRISONED FOR OVER 10 YEARS - since they were confirmed innocent.  Here is the police report that says that:

  • The estimate of 10,000 comes from various sources, but the easiest to quote is PBS, FRONT LINE:

  • And it is an explicit violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - Articles 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12.  Six of the first 12 articles!  It is also in contradiction of the principles that Amnesty International fights for - to discriminate against certain regions of the country in the application of the law and equal protection, and to falsely imprison people for decades.  

  • So why is FBI allowing it?
  • Why ?  I don't know, there is no reason that could possibly justify the abandonment of the human rights on massive scale like that.  Even if there was - the FBI or any other government agency do not have the authority to barter the civil rights of citizens  for other purposes, even if they are worthy.

  • Why?  I don't know, but my best guess is that LA, as was the case during the Iran-Contra with CIA, is the FBI's cash cow.  The FBI, like the LAPD, sells drugs here.  The agents are enriched, but I assume that some part of it goes to some funds that are entirely outside congressional regulation.  And this source of play money is so important that the FBI cannot stop the addiction to corruption in LA.

  • Why FBI never found anything in its "intensive" national priority investigation of sub-prime lenders?
  • The answer is - because they did not want to find anything.  I heard it by phone from the head of white collar squadron in LA - that they will investigate my complaint on Countrywide, only if I separate it from any wrongdoing by judges.  But they worked hand in hand, it is impossible.  Well - the FBI would not want to find anything about the LA judges, and therefore would not find anything about countrywide.

  • You never find anything like this in writing.  But I have it even in writing.  It is a strange story, fit for a movie.  But the bottom line is that I got this email from a guy who is a veteran FBI agent, possibly the most decorated FBI agent alive.  He is talking both sides of his mouth, because he was not supposed to write it in the first place, as he himself writes.  And between the lines he says that most of the judges in LA are corrupt, and that the FBI will not investigate my complaint on countrywide because it involves the judges.

  • He is also the one who gave me the opinion letter that basically says that the court engaged in real estate fraud (you can also find his bio in there):

  • I hope that you understand me better now.

  • Joseph 

Friday, February 27, 2009

General Tommy Franks is asked to liberate Los Angeles...

Letter to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Bank of America Corporation

February 27, 2009

THOMAS J MAY (chair),
By email and by fax

RE: Message to the members of BOA Audit Committee;

Timely response requested by March 10, 2009, 5:00pm

Mr Barnet III, Mr Collins, General Franks, Mr Massey, Mr May, Admiral Frueher:

I, victim of alleged frauds by CFC and BOA, am writing to each of you as an individual member of the AUDIT COMMITTEE of CFC/BOA.  Below I describe only a small fraction of such frauds in simple lay-person terms. I have notified BOA General Counsel Mr TIMOTHY MAYOPOULOS of such alleged frauds against me several times in the past.  I also notified Mr KENNETH LEWIS and others at BOA/CFC.  None responded, and the frauds are allowed to continue, even today. 

I request that you immediately take corrective actions.  Please personally respond, either at my home address:  , LA CA 90027, or my email address <> no later than Monday, March 9, 2009, 5:00pm.  At minimum I request acknowledgement of receipt of this communications.  Please also include a statement of your intended actions in this regard, specifically regarding the six items below that I identify as keys in CFC now CFC/BOA alleged collusion in fraud in ongoing litigation of Samaan v Zernik at the LA Superior Court.

As described below, I first heard the name COUNTRYWIDE in December 2006.  I had no business with the company whatsoever, but I found out that at that time, the company was already involved in alleged fraud against me for over two years! I fast grew to realize, still in December 2006, that what happened to me was not the work of one employee, a bad apple, but a reflection of the Legal Department at Countrywide, headed by SANDOR SAMUELS, that I concluded already then was operating as a corrupt organization.  Such allegations appeared radical in January 2007, when I submitted my first complaint to the FBI, but by January 2008 became commonplace,  when "recreated letters" were found in Pennsylvania, and in March 2009, when U.S. Judge Jeff Bohm published his opinion on Countrywide's legal practices.  He found routine engagement in what must amount upon review by a competent court to frauds against homeowners all across the U.S. -  based on a year long study by the United States Trustee,   Regardless of his decision no indictments were filed to this date,  to the best of my knowledge, against SANDOR SAMUELS, ANGELO MOZILO,  or anybody else at the Legal Department of Countrywide. 

Instead, in an urgent attempt to stabilize collapsing financial markets, the Bush administration chaperoned the take over of the CFC by BOA, which was effective July 1, 2008.  Obviously, such merger was undertaken by BOA only with substantial inducements by the Bush administration, the scope of which we will never know for sure, simply because much of it was not in enumerated cash, but in provisions that may transform the framework of the U.S. financial world as we know it today.  After all, BOA took upon itself the responsibility for a large entity that had large negative financial value, tremendously negative goodwill, and very substantial criminal liabilities. 

The tax payer, who will pay for all of this, could expect at least that BOA would ensure that alleged criminal conduct at CFC would cease the moment it became part of BOA.  But at least in Los Angeles, California,  such conduct is continuing in full force today, in public, without even an attempt to conceal it, under your watch.  And the responses I received from the office of the BOA General Counsel appeared not at all as the responses of a concerned corporate citizen, who is now charged with responsibility for a major public hazard.  Instead, it appeared as the response of a corporation that holds itself immune to any criminal charges, regardless of the conduct of CFC, its own subsidiary.  I would like to believe that such conduct is limited to Los Angeles, where the local compounding factor is the LA Superior Court itself. 
Listed below are key records of the alleged fraud by CFC/BOA against JOSEPH ZERNIK in litigation of Samaan v Zernik (SC087400) at the LA Superior Court:

1) Underwriting Letter misrepresented as a fax transmission of mid-October 2004, from Countrywide, San Rafael to VICTOR PARKS, State of Washington. [1]  Introduced repeatedly in court.  Most recently for a motion noticed for November 2008. Alleged key fraud record.

2) Real Property Purchase Contract misrepresented as a fax transmission of October 25, 2004, 5:03pm from VICTOR PARKS, State of Washington, to Countrywide, San Rafael. [2]  Introduced repeatedly in court.  Most recently for a motion noticed for November 2008. Alleged key fraud record.

3)  Set of a letter and declarations by CFC/ MARIA MCLAURIN, Branch Manager, San Rafael, California. [3] Introduced repeatedly in court.  Key fraud record.

4) Subpoena Production of Countrywide in Samaan v Zernik. [4]  About 400 pages, produced by the Legal Department a total of 5 times from August 2006 to April 2007.  Deemed fraud in its entirety - since it included loan files that were recreated after the fact, and records that are the product of wire/fax fraud and bear false and deliberately misleading fax header imprints, when in fact there is nothing in this production that allows to determine where and when such records appeared from. It was part of a concerted effort by SAMAAN, McLAURIN and the Legal Department of CFC to fabricate false history for SAMAAN's loan applications in 2004,

5) Records showing CFC and even more recently CFC/BOA appearing in court for almost two years under the party designation of "NON-PARTY", while the court interchangeably designates it "DEFENDANT", "PLAINTIFF", "INTERVENOR","ROSS-DEFENDANT","REAL PARTY IN INTEREST", etc. [5] Such appearances are deemed false and deliberately misleading and have no basis in the law of the U.S. or California,  Therefore they place the entire litigation in a real that is outside the law.
6) July 23, 2007 Protective/Gag Order by Judge JACQUELINE CONNOR [6].  Such purported order led to two judgment of quasi-criminal nature being entered by Judge Terry Friedman against me, both at the request of CFC, The second one - in February 2009, at the requests of CFC/BOA.  I have no valid court record of that nature, and the court and CFC/ BOA so far have failed to produce this record either.
Below I attached a short review of part of Samaan v Zernik that allows you to place the records above in their context. 

You must realize that you have much greater influence in this case than correcting the wrongdoing against me in Samaan v Zernik,  because this case happened to travel in time and space that were prior to it, and afterwards as well, the scene of other much bigger events.  Insignificant as the case itself was and is, it provides unique insights into the bigger events that are reflected in it.

a) Rampart scandal, and continued false imprisonment of 10,000, mostly black and latinos in LA, 10 years after confirmation of their innocence.

The most notorious example of the malfunction of the LA Superior Court are of course the estimated 10,000 people who are still falsely imprisoned in LA County, mostly black and latinos, victims of wrongdoing by police of the Rampart station. Such wrongdoing was exposed and investigated in detail as part of the Rampart scandal of 1998-2000.  In my efforts to understand what was happening in the courtroom in Samaan v Zernik  I eventually got involved in studying the Rampart scandal, since Judge JACQUELINE CONNOR was and is the central figure in both, in more ways than officially acknowledged. 

In fact, I claim that the two cases are mirror images of each other, one in the criminal courts, the other in the civil courts.  In both cases false evidence was routinely entered.  In one case - police purportedly "duped" judges like CONNOR, in the other - corporations like CFC.  In fact, combined review of the two cases would lead a reasonable person to the inevitable conclusion, that Judge JACQUELINE CONNOR was never "duped" at all.  Similarly I claim that what was stated by Judge CONNOR in her December 22, 2000 ruling that reversed jury verdicts of the four police that were first to be prosecuted for their conduct revealed in the scandal, as her own "errors" in jury instructions, and "errors" she routinely allegedly made in Samaan v Zernik, resulting in invalid litigation records, were no errors at all.   Instead, I claim that she herself was the central figure, not only as a judge, but also as the one who initiated or coordinated the wrongdoing in both Samaan v Zernik, and on a much bigger scale - in the cases that underlie the Rampart scandal and later in derailing the first Rampart trial,  Therefore, she herself is the central figure who is accountable for what we see today -  the continued false imprisonments of at least 10,000 people - mostly black  and latinos - who were confirmed innocent in the investigations of the Rampart scandal.   Such conditions were capably described in the Blue Ribbon Review Panel report of 2006 [7].

My request for an immediate review by the Audit Committee of which you are a member, of the conduct of CFC/BOA in Samaan v Zernik  bears directly on the conduct of Judge CONNOR in Samaan v Zernik, and indirectly - on her conduct in the Rampart scandal and the demands for restoring my rights per International Law, and also the rights of the Rampart-FIPs (Falsely Imprisoned Persons).

 b) Sub-prime crisis and bailout

I am of the opinion that the conduct of the office of the General Counsel of BOA in Samaan v Zernik call for immediate scrutiny by the Audit Committee of the CFC/BOA merger agreement. In particular - any provisions that were explicitly made by the Bush administration, or even insinuated by such officials relative to criminal liabilities related to the conduct of Countrywide prior and also after the merger with BOA.  There is no doubt in my mind that true review of the conduct of CFC would lead to the conclusion that it was and is a corrupt organization.  You may read small fraction of the evidence below. BOA officers must have recognized that fact as well, and must have taken steps to protect themselves from being drawn into such affair.  But as part of the merger-bailout, BOA at minimum must take responsibility to stop any such criminal conduct that is alleged to be ongoing.

I believe that this AUDIT COMMITTEE, listing respectable names, who served this country for many years,  would not have tolerated anything less than an honest General Counsel at BOA.  And yet, following the merger the office of Mr MAYOPOULOS has engaged in conduct relative to Samaan v Zernik that has been far from honest. The only explanation for such conduct at BOA that I could come up with, is that U.S. administration officials, in their desperation to avoid total melt-down of financial markets before they leave office, made representations to that office that were taken to mean that conduct of CFC in general, or in LA County, or just in LA Superior Court, or just in Samaan v Zernik were extra-constitutional zones, similar in nature to Guantanamo Bay.  Such discrimination is unacceptable.  We who live in Los Angeles County are entitled per the International Bill of Human Rights (1976) to Equal Protection under the law, with no regionally-based discrimination by government in the application of the law. 

Likewise, when you read the pages below, surely you will find some points where you would contemplate whether ANGELO MOZILO, SANDOR SAMUELS, MARIA McLAURIN, TODD BOOCK, OR SANFORD SHATZ, all CFC people, were engaging in criminal conduct.  Most of them are still CFC/BOA employees, and are still engaging in the same conduct through Samaan v Zernik - now - under the BOA name and under your oversight duties.  

Obviously, I hold the FBI investigation, running now for a year, as deliberately aimless.  And statements made by the FBI and law enforcement regarding investigation of the causes of the sub-prime crisis as deliberate attempts to mislead the public.  But all of that does not permit you, as a member of the Audit Committee of BOA/CFC to ignore your duties. 

Some officers of the U.S. may consider that they have successfully fooled the public, for example, in responses by Mr KAISER (FBI) and Mr MELSON (USDOJ) to Congressional inquiries by Senator FEINSTEIN and Congresswoman WATSON concerning Samaan v Zernik in August -September 2008.  But the true answer to such conduct is coming roaring from financial markets at home and abroad - nobody is fooled!  We are yet to see the end of it.  Absent renewed confidence in the integrity of U.S. financial institutions and financial markets, and underlying that - the rule of law and integrity of the courts, there will be no way to sustain the interests of your share holders.  That is where you have enormous responsibility these days, when others fail their duties.

As described below, one feature that is common to the two affairs - the alleged frauds at the LA Superior Court and the alleged frauds at CFC, - is the misuse of large computer systems: SUSTAIN at the court and EDGE at CFC.  It is my opinion that until BOA undertakes review of the operation of EDGE by CFC, one must assume that the frauds are permitted to continue.  With the LA Superior Court and SUSTAIN the wrongdoing is compounded - since in order to enable the alleged frauds in SUSTAIN, the court has been concealing for the past quarter century public records, and denying  public access to such records.  I hold that it is the denial of public access to public records that is at present the stumbling block in the release of the Rampart-FIPs.

I therefore also started a petition online for the restoration of fair tribunals in LA County, pursuant to International Law, and the Right for Liberty of the estimated 10,000 Rampart-FIPs. Their innocence was established 10 years ago, and after it was confirmed and re-affirmed by several review panels since then.  The essence of the petition is a call for reestablishing public access to the public records of the LA Superior Court. That would be necessary and sufficient to bring about speedy release of the FIPs.  I would be grateful if you sign the petition, to show your support.  Their continued false imprisonment is inexcusable, it is a disgrace of historic proportions as well - and more than 10 times the scope of the Guantanamo Bay detentions.
Blue Ribbon 2006 Report:              
Front line, PBS, one source of estimates:

I similarly demand restoration of my own full rights pursuant to the International Bill of Human Rights (1976) which incorporated the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights (1948).  I hold that it would be sufficient to allow me full access to my litigation records of Samaan v Zernik in the SUSTAIN file, to demonstrate unequivocally, and in great detail, that which is already evident - that the litigation as a whole is based on false and deliberately misleading conduct by the court.  But the court would not allow me access to the file even in the fourth year of litigation, in disregard of the U.S. Constitution,  U.S. Law, California Constitution, California Law, California Rules of Court, etc.
All of this is meant to convey the concept - CFC is alleged to have been involved in crimes that were beyond financial recklessness, it was a major participant in the corruption of the courts in LA,  and the victims were all 10 millions who live in LA County.  We ask that you take corrective actions, and we believe that BOA has the power to effect correction that is far beyond Samaan v Zernik, for example - by making the court allow me access to my own litigation file in SUSTAIN, in compliance with the International Law, and access to the comparable records of the criminal courts, which would allow the speedy release of the Rampart-FIPs.  The effect of the restoration of such simple basic civil rights would be tremendous.

Joseph Zernik
Note: above is thecover letter, an attachment of 10 pages can be viewed at:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Petition published in Homeowners Newsletter with wide distribution

Thanks to Elizabeth and the good people at:

Petition was posted in a newletter and also online at:


An Article

Please sign online petition to investigate LA Courts addressed to President Obama and international human rights organizations

February 23, 2009

By Joseph Zernik 

Los Angeles, California -

Sunday, February 22, 2009

No signatures at all from Los Angeles, or California for that matter so far...

One must wonder what the reason is that so far there is no signatures from Los Angeles, or California in general, in a petition that obviously point to major human rights violations being perpetrated here and now.
  • Is it that those who live in Los Angeles know best, and there is no truth in the facts cited andthe claims made?
  • Is it that those who live in LA are scared to express their opinion on such matters...?

Call for help from attorneys and others in LA, who hold relevant evidence or could provide helpful suggestions

Particularly seeking evidence from practicing attorneys - both civil real estate and criminal defense...
Various reports, as well as my personal experiences show that attorneys could be the most valuable source of evidence.  That realization is accompanied by the realization that attorneys as individuals, and also through the Califrnia State Bar Association, appear to have done nothing of singificance that we know of, to prevent the deterioration of the justice system that brought us to where we are today.
If anything - the opposite is true.  First - my experience shows a few very large law firm that were deeply involved in the alleged racketeering:  Sheppard Mullin, Bryan Cave, LLP, and Buchalter Nemer.  
Beyond that - the California State Bar Association is alleged to have contributed in a material way to the evolution of this condition.  Such contribution is allged not only through failure to act and initiate corrective actions by other agencies.  The case of the attorney who was first to file complaints that the judges of LA Superior Court were taking over $45,ooo per judge per year from LA County, which was "not permissible" by law, shows the Bar Association engaging in a corruption of justice scandal that was all its own... He was tried in the Administrative Court of the Bar, and found as having engaged in "Moral Turpitude", but whereas normally Moral Turpitude refers to violation of provision that deal with interactions with otehrs with sexual implications, here the conduct was- filing complaint against LA Superior Court on taking payement tht were and are "not permissible" .
The case also shows the perenial problem, whichin LA Superior Court, I claim reflects some of the Unpublish Rules of Court of LA County, that are alleged to contradict the Law. I apply such rules here to the Bar Association Admniistrative Court: Even after it becomes evident that a judgment is void, in a high profile case that was published and aired a number fo times, the Bar Association seems not to even entertain the onsideration of acknoledging the voidness of that judgment on its own.  On the contrary, the vitims of that court, would have to fight to establish facts and rulings that were already ruled and epressed bfore.such void judgment.
Given that so far the general attorney population - those who daily see the preversion of justicce - from failur to notice and serve, to illegitimate real property transactions,  provided very little help in efforts to restore justice to the justice system in LA.  Excepted are of course all those who seat on eh numerous committees, which provided positive call for change, and Att. Connie Rice, leader of the Los Angele Advancement Project and Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of University of California Irvine Law School are the most notable examples. of such positive contributions.

The problem is of course with Retaliation/Intimidation/Harassment of any attorneys who would take a stand.
I would be grateful for any suggestions for ways to go about it now, under conditions where the public prosecutor is not involved [yet].

Is it the tipping point?

Growing recognition of the validity of the matter  is accompanied by attemtps to undermine my position by the powers that be.

The last couple of weeks presented some material change in the state of affairs, in the sense that it apears to generate reposes and consideration as a legitimate issue, and recognized for its severity and urgency by individuals of signigicant experience in government.

In parallel, as anticipated, I sense severe increase in attempts by the power that be to undermine my position in any possible way.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Live Racketeering Show - By The Exhibitionists....

Better late than never, former Chair, SEC got advance notice... but Mr Michael Moore(of the movies) and Mr Steven Goldman ( FBI, Los Angeles,  White Collar Crime Squadron),  got a last minute invitation, my apologies for that;

Mr Timothy Mayopoulos (Bank of America, General Counsel) and Mr Kenneth Lewis (Bank of America, President, Chair, etc) you are surely invited as well, incognito only please... 

Bryan Cave, LLP, Sheppard Mullin, Mr Sandor Samuels (formerly of the House of Justice and Countrywide), Mr Angelo Mozilo (Countrywide), and Mr David Pasternak(House of Justice,and the LA Sueprior Court) - all regulars need no invitations...

Mr Jerry Brown (California Attorney General) - we may find for you a folding chair in the back...

New this year - by live broadcast- to Beijing - to Governor Zhou Xiaochuan of the People's Bank of China:
In Recognition of Their Star Performance in Truthful Responses to U.S. Congress
We call upon representatives of the U.N., the World Bank, International Monetary
Fund, and others to share with us this unique local tradition –
The One and Only! 
FBI Sponsored and Patronized!
Come to the LA Superior Court, and observe the degree to which the U.S. Government indeed safeguards HUMAN RIGHTS,   INTEGRITY OF THE COURTS as well as INTEGRITY OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. If you had any doubts, by the end of the show, they will all be gone!
A year long investigation by the FBI failed to yield an indictment of Mr MOZILO and Mr
SAMUELS, obviously, the task is too difficult…

Is it a case of Cal Superior Court ? You bet it ain’t…
Is it the notorious Enterprise Track? You bet it is!
No longer a secret, does it stop them? You bet it doesn’t
WHERE: LA Superior Court, Santa Monica Court House, Dept J
WHEN: Tuesday, February 17, 2009, 9:30am
WHAT: Bryan Cave, LLP appears for Countrywide as – “Non Party”. 
WHAT LA Superior Court designates Countrywide on that day: 
"Plaintiff"? "Defendant"? "Intervenor"?  "Interpleader"? 
WHAT Defendant designated Countrywide already a year ago: "Judge".
It Takes Two to Tango:
Live Show, 
Countywide & LA Superior Court
Will Collude In:
Disregard of the Law
Contempt of Equal Protection
Abuse of Due Process
Abuse of Free Speech
Abuse of the Right for Possession
Obstruction of Justice
Perversion of Justice
Financial Institution Fraud
Retaliation Against a Witness/Victim/Informant
Monetary Transactions Derived From Specified Unlawful Activity
Violation of Sarbanes Oxley 2002, §307
By Remote Control, From Behind the Scenes BY
Judge Jacqueline Connor
Best Remembered for Her Star Performance
Derailing The First Rapart Trial (2000)
It is guaranteed – during this event alone, more PREDICATED ACTS will be performed
live than are necessary to indict,  NEW FLIPPED POSITIONS, never seen before... EXOTIC SETS...  totally NEW SKIMPY WARDROBE...
and of course 
It’s the 
We call upon representatives of the U.N., the World Bank, Intenational Monetary FundPeople's Bank of China, and others to appear in court, and observe the degree to which the U.S. Government indeed safeguards Human Rights, and the Integrity of its Courts as well as the Integrity of its Financial Institutions.
Our traditional betting game… where will the DOLLAR, DOW, NASDAQ be in a year...
RSVP Event Organizer and Promotor…

750 MAIN ST., SUIT 1500
EIN:    06-1574889
Tax Status:    501(c)(3)

Monday, February 16, 2009

2/12/209 CBSNews 2 Pa. Judges Admit Jailing Kids For Cash

2 Pa. Judges Admit Jailing Kids For Cash
WILKES-BARRE, Pa., Feb. 12, 2009

(CBS/ AP) Two Pennsylvania judges charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send youth offenders to privately run detention centers pleaded guilty to fraud Thursday in one of the most stunning cases of judicial corruption on record.

Prosecutors allege Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a sister company, possibly tainting the convictions of thousands of juvenile offenders.

The judges pleaded guilty in federal court in Scranton to honest services fraud and tax fraud. Their plea agreements call for sentences of more than seven years in prison. They were permitted to remain free pending sentencing.

The gray-haired jurists said little at Thursday's hearing, and declined to comment to reporters afterward.

Prosecutors described a scheme in which Conahan, the former president judge of Luzerne County, shut down the county-owned juvenile detention center in 2002 and signed an agreement with PA Child Care LLC to send youth offenders to its new facility outside Wilkes-Barre.

Ciavarella, who presided over juvenile court, sent youths to the detention center while he was taking payments, prosecutors said.

For years, youth advocacy groups complained that Ciavarella was ridiculously harsh and ran roughshod over youngsters' constitutional rights. Ciavarella sent a quarter of his juvenile defendants to detention centers from 2002 to 2006, compared with a statewide rate of one in 10.

Among the offenders were teenagers who were locked up for months for stealing loose change from cars, writing a prank note and possessing drug paraphernalia. Many had never been in trouble before, and some were imprisoned even after probation officers recommended against it. Many of the youths didn't have attorneys.

Ciavarella has specifically denied sending kids to jail for cash, and had indicated he would not go through with the guilty plea if the government offered that as evidence.

Thus prosecutors left out any mention Thursday of a quid pro quo, presenting only enough evidence to establish that crimes had occurred.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubron said after the hearing that the government continues to allege a quid pro quo. "We're not negotiating that, no. We're not backing off," he said.

The prosecutor said it will be up to U.S. District Judge Edwin Kosik to settle the matter. Kosik could reject the proposed sentence as too light if he decides there was a quid pro quo.

"I think there will be significant disagreements as to what the facts are," Zubrod said. "Was there a connection between the payments and the money, and young people going to prison? Those are issues that are going to be addressed later by the court. There's going to be plenty of time to fight about that."

The judges were charged on Jan. 26 and removed from the bench by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court shortly afterward.

Fifteen-year-old Bernadine Wallace was sentenced to a month in lock-up for a threatening note she posted on her MySpace page, reports CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

"I was thinking to myself, 'I don't deserve this. I don't think that I did that much wrong. I'm not a criminal'," she said.

"You saw the judges come out of court today. How were you feeling?" Doane asked Wallace's mother.

"Angry," Flo Wallace said. "How did they get to walk out with all these charges? When she went in front of them, she got out of shackles."

Kurt Kruger, now 22, pictured at left, had never been in trouble with the law until the day police accused him of acting as a lookout while his friend shoplifted less than $200 worth of DVDs from Wal-Mart. He said he didn't know his friend was going to steal anything.

Kruger pleaded guilty before Ciavarella and spent three days in a company-run juvenile detention center, plus four months at a youth wilderness camp run by a different operator.

"Never in a million years did I think that I would actually get sent away. I was completely destroyed," said Kruger, who later dropped out of school. He said he wants to get his record expunged, earn his high school equivalency diploma and go to college.

"I got a raw deal, and yeah, it's not fair," he said, "but now it's 100 times bigger than me."

© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Email to a whistle blower group

Thanks for adding me to this list, and here is for you - a story to tell:

A. Petition to free the LA-FIPs
We just started a petition. Our mission is to free the LA-FIP's - the Los Angeles Falsely Imprisoned People:

B. Who are the LA-FIPs? Are they truly extra-terrestrial?
No, they are humans, like you and me! Therefore, they are entitled to the rights that are enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), ratified by the United Nations General Assembly, which as incorporated into the International Covenants of Rights (1976), holds the force of International Law. The LA-FIPs designates only those prisoners in Los Angeles, who were proven innocent in the RAMPART scandal (1998-2000) investigations, but are still imprisoned today, 10 years later. The essence of that scandal was the discovery that police in an undercover narcotics unit in the RAMPART station were involved in the routine production of evidence through framing, and torture was also used to extract confessions that led to a large number of convictions in the criminal courts in Los Angeles and long-term prison sentences. As shown in the video, ethnic biases were also at play.

This is what some legal authoritative had to say about it in 2000:
  • “…judges tried and sentenced a staggering number of people for crimes they did not commit. How could so many participants in the criminal justice system have failed either to recognize or to instigate any meaningful scrutiny of such appalling and repeated perversions of justice?” “…we felt a particular obligation to ensure that no aspect of the Los Angeles criminal justice system, including the lawyers and judges, escaped scrutiny.” 
  • David W. Burcham, then Dean, today Provost, and Catherine L. Fisk, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (2000)
  • “Any analysis of the Rampart scandal must begin with an appreciation of the heinous nature of what the officers did. This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states. “ “…and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted.”
  • Erwin Chemerinsky, today Dean of Irvine Law School (2000)

C. Are you sure that they are still imprisoned? It sounds like a post-scandal scandal...
I rely on official reports of the LAPD:
According to the most recent official report, of the BLUE RIBBON REVIEW PANEL (2006) only a minute fraction of them were released. And there must be many others as well, since the official investigation was deliberately restricted only to the RAMPART station, in order to justify what was described to the public under the official title of "RAMPART-AREA CORRUPTION INCIDENT". The same report shows that the name itself is false and misleading: The conduct that was investigated was not a "CORRUPTION INCIDENT", but rather - common conduct over a long time period, and it was not RAMPART-AREA-specific either the evidence demonstrated that is was also found in others stations. Regardless, by LA-FIPs we are talking only about the ones that were confirmed innocent through the Rampart scandal investigations. After the major initial investigation, there were some 4-5 official review panels, and they all came to the same conclusion - that these people were and are innocent and should and must be freed.

But to this date, they are still imprisoned.

D. So why are they still in prison 10 years later?
At the end, more than 70 police were found involved, and in 2000 the four first indicted police were prosecuted by the LA District Attorney, and three of the four were convicted in a jury trial, and sentenced. However, a few weeks later, the trial judge, JACQUELINE A CONNOR, in a remarkable display of honesty, issued an unusual ruling from home, in the evening, on December 23, 2000:
  • "Evidence available to the court suggests that in fact the jurors were misdirected in the law, that the law was misapplied and that the misapplication resulted in the denial of a fair trial on the merits...
  • "The court does conclude that there was jury misconduct, though unintentional, misguided and inadvertent, in the consideration of improper facts.  While recognizing the enormous pressure on the community, on the police force, on the district  attorney’s office and on the courts to “fix” the Rampart scandal, this court is only interested in evaluating the fairness of the proceedings in this court and determining whether justice was done  in this case. This court cannot and should not consider the political ramifications of future lawsuits or  future prosecutions. The defense in this case has presented compelling arguments to support their  argument that the defendants did not receive a fair trial.  The court cannot simply look the other way and ignore the improprieties, innocent or not, intentional or unintentional, that served to deny a fair trial in this case.  
  • While the court cannot and will not presume to guess whether a correction of the errors would result in any different verdict, it most certainly concludes that the verdicts in this case cannot stand."
From the perspective of time, it appears that with that, any attempt to"fix" the Rampart scandal came to an end. The police never even completed its investigation report. The 2006 BLUE RIBBON REVIEW PANEL report describes in detail how police, judges and prosecutors prevent their release of the LA-FIPs. The official investigation operated, so it appears, with the underlying paradigm that the police were corrupt, but the judges were "duped". The BLUE RIBBON REPORT describes them as a united front today in resistance to freeing the LA-FIPs.

E. How many are they? Is it at all a significant issue with everything else that it going on today?
I was hesitating to use any number, because all numbers are estimates. The BLUE RIBBON REVIEW PANEL finds it remarkable finding in and of itself, that after several extensive reviews, including their own, there is no good data even regarding the scope of the problem. Initially I thought it was around 2,000, but eventually I used the figure of 10,000. People reacted as if I fell off the roof. Finally, I found a 2001 PBS broadcast that quoted two estimates: By prosecutors: 8,000, and by defense attorneys: 15,000. Elsewhere I found an estimate by other advocates: 30,000. Therefore, I find my estimate of 10,000, derived independently of these numbers, as falling on the conservative side.
No good figures are available for the Guantanamo detentions either, but my estimate is that they involved no more than 750 people, and much shorter period of time. Of note, they two take place at the same time, albeit one justified by various legal arguments. I am not familiar of any true legal arguments that were ever raised for the continued false imprisonments in Los Angeles. I was simply never "fixed". It is a disgrace of historic proportions.

The Blue Ribbon Review Panel is the latest I know of:
The beginning is review of the work of previous committees, it starts getting interesting around the middle.

F, Was nothing was done at all?

That would not be a correct statement. The same report documents remarkable efforts by police to address the causes of the scandal. The Rampart station itself was rebuilt from scratch in a new location. It has nice and clean design, well-trained staff, and it implements innovative management and leadership models. It is a show piece.
Additionally, a number of review panels were established and published reports. One distinction of the report of the 2006 BLUE RIBBON REVIEW PANEL is that they clearly stated that they considered all previous reviews failures, and their own as well. Instead they called for an external review.

G. Why does the petition ask only access to some papers? What difference does it make?
You should not ask for what they cannot give...
My analysis of the previous committee reports and also reports of the U.S. Judge Overseer (appointed in 2001 to supervise the LAPD relative to respect and observance of Civil Rights) is that their failure stemmed from the same problem that cripples the justice system in L.A. in general: The courts took the liberty around 1985, while introducing computers to the courts, of removing from public access the critical data bases that were known for generations as the BOOKS of COURT. They are also the critical guarantee for the integrity of any court.

The U.S. Supreme Court in its landmark decision Nixon v Warner Communications, Inc (1978), affirmed the public's right to access judicial records, to inspect and to copy. It determined that such right precedes even the U.S. Constitution, and established it as a Common Law Right. Furthermore, already that decision by the U.S. Supreme Court was not about paper at all, but about digital or electronic media - the Nixon Tapes. And yet, in the transition from paper to digital media around 1985, the L.A. Superior Court took the liberty of removing all such records from public access. And the judges themselves, under the California Oath of Office and the legal community in LA allowed it to continue unchecked for over a quarter century.

Releasing the LA-FIPs is a mandate that is complex in nature, and it would be difficult to enforce it in court and in practice, especially with the names and numbers unknown - since the books are inaccessible. In contrast, the demand to enforce Common Law Right of access to inspect and to copy is straight forward, each of the 10 millions who reside in LA County, in fact Every Person has standing to demand this right, and the U.S. government and its agencies are required to protect these rights, it is not optional. Finally - last summer-fall, my request for a Special Counsel to review the conduct of the L.A. Superior Court went all the way up the Director of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Assistant Director of the FBI. Their responses, addressed to Congress, I deem false and deliberately misleading. Therefore, the need to limit the request to the minimal that is clearly demonstrable. Another request, submitted to the U.S. Justice Department prior to the November 2008 elections, to restore the Voting Rights of the LA-FIPs went unanswereded.

Regardless of all the statements above, the restoration of the Common Law right of access, in and of itself will have an impact on life in Los Angeles that by far exceeds what most expect.

H. So how is it going to work?
Under the new President there is renewed hope. Nevertheless, first - it was best to stick to the very minimal, but enforceable and clearly demonstrable, short-term demand, and second - international support for such cause is essential. Furthermore, since the respective government agencies, both local, state, and federal, show entire disinterest in protecting rights and enforcing the law, it would be a critical error to leave in to them to finish the job. The petition asks them to do only the minimum which by international law they must do anyway.

Vocal support by international human rights organizations and individual is badly needed. Therefore, this petition does not rely in fact on U.S. Law at all. Instead, it relies on 1) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and 2) the Common Law right to access judicial records, to inspect and to copy.

Once access to the books is allowed, I have no doubt that civil rights organizations and members of the public at large will be able to engage in habeas corpus writs that would lead to release of the LA-FIPs within a short time. Absent access to such books, it is impossible to effectively exercise the basic right of habeas corpus. The fact that such conditions were allowed to prevail in Los Angeles for over a quarter century is disturbing. In the absent of access to the Books of Court abuse of rights is not even detectable... it open the door to various abuses of medieval nature - the continued false imprisonment of a mass of anonymous civilians is definitely one of them...

I. What's the bottom line, take home message?
On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was championed by Leonore Roosevelt, this is a low point. Sign the petition, ask others to sign, and stay alert, NOTHING that was guaranteed can be taken for granted. The public must be actively involved in protecting its rights against any violation or abuse. The current situation perfectly demonstrates the issue: Once a right was lost, you have to fight to restore it, almost as if it were never granted in the first place... And the basic rights, the ones that appear as mere technicalities, once lost can cause enormous harm.

J. A Call for Action
Please visit the petition site and sign the petition, it's easy:
  • We call upon President Obama to free those who are falsely imprisoned in l.a. for over a decade in the aftermath of the Rampart scandal (98-2000).....the minimum is appointment of a  special counsel to restore public access to public records of the courts, where public access is denied for over a quarter century.
If you would lilke to do more - recruit your friends to sign, bring it to the attention of national and international human rights organizations, that would be greatly appreciated:
  • Southern California ACLU: (Local ACLU support is required for national ACLU action)
  • Amnesty International, USA: (as courtesy, projects determined in London)
  • Amnesty International London HQ: (Mark in subject line: U.S. Research Group)
  • United Nations: (select comments to enter our text) 
You may also place in your web site for the next 2-3 months the Java gadget below that allows people to sign through your web site.