Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gotti lawyers question credibility of G-man who has been on mobster's tail

John A. "Junior" Gotti's lawyers raised questions about the integrity of the G-man who's been on the mob scion's tail for the past several years because of his involvement in a Mafia investment scheme.

In court papers filed Thursday, Gotti attorneys Charles Carnesi and John Meringolo ask Manhattan Federal Judge Kevin Castel to hold a hearing into what they say is the "prosecutorial misconduct" of FBI Special Agent Theodore Otto.

At issue is Otto's late 2007 firing by the FBI for an alleged failure to declare profits on stock-related investments.

Otto was rehired a few months later when FBI officials learned the money was actually lost to a shady broker who was arrested with more than 100 others in the so-called "Mob on Wall Street" case, according to Gotti's attorneys.

"An evidentiary hearing is mandatory to determine the extent of the taint of this prosecution that Agent Otto's direct or indirect involvement with mobbed up brokerage firms had on his relationship with four cooperating witnesses against Mr. Gotti," the lawyers wrote.

Several onetime wiseguy pals of Gotti are expected to testify at the September racketeering conspiracy trial of the Dapper Don's son.

Gotti, 45, is accused in three gangland slayings, as well as drug trafficking dating back to the early 1980s.

Otto has been the case agent in the government's prosecution of Gotti in three previous conspiracy trials over the last five years, each of which ended in hung juries.

FBI officials declined to comment, citing employee privacy concerns.

But in court papers, Manhattan federal prosecutors say even if the allegations about the 20-year veteran are true, they have no connection to Otto's work on the Gotti case.

"Agent Otto has never been suspended, terminated, or otherwise disciplined in connection with the Gotti case or any other case," the prosecutors say.



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