Queens attorney and another man accused of bribing witness
NEW YORK (AP) — A Queens-based criminal defense attorney and another man described as an alleged fixer have been indicted on charges they bribed a witness who testified in a double-homicide trial on Long Island.
“This office and our law enforcement partners will never tolerate the rigging of a trial and will vigorously prosecute attorneys or anyone else who seeks to undermine the integrity of the judicial process by witness tampering,” said U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue.
John Scarpa Jr., 65, is accused of plotting with Charles Gallman, 56, of Queens, to bribe a witness in a Suffolk County criminal trial against Scarpa’s client, Reginald Ross, who was ultimately convicted of the unrelated “execution-style murders” of two men. One of the men, a road crew flagman, was killed at his job site in 2010 because Ross was upset about traffic, prosecutors said.
The witness bribery scheme was uncovered through “court-authorized intercepted communication” between Scarpa and Gallman, according to prosecutors.
Scarpa pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Tuesday in Brooklyn federal court.
“We’re confident that when all the evidence comes out, Mr. Scarpa will be fully exonerated and his otherwise unblemished reputation restored,” said Scarpa’s lawyer, Thomas A. Kenniff.
Gallman, who was already in custody, is to be arraigned at a later date. His lawyer declined to comment on the charges.
According to The New York Times , Gallman is suspected of using his connections in the criminal underworld to help throw other cases. The alleged fixer has a criminal history that spans decades and includes convictions for manslaughter, weapons possession, robbery and various drug offenses, authorities said.
Information from: The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com