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

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alite testifies that Gotti perused lawyer's records

There's a long history of prosecution attacks on so-called "mob lawyers" for various alleged ethical transgressions, but John Alite came up with a new one Thursday in testimony at John "Junior" Gotti's racketeering trial.

Alite, the star informant who was a former top deputy to Gotti, described how he, Gotti and another man were arrested for assault after a bar rumble outside a Long Island nightclub in 1989. Gotti, he said, assured him that the Gambino family was going to "take care of it, make sure nobody comes to court."

That's just what happened. Alite said he didn't know the details, but "it got thrown out."

All three of them, he said, were represented by a lawyer named Richard Rehbock, whom Alite described as the lawyer Gotti required him to use to make sure he didn't step out of line.

Together, Alite said, he and Gotti visited Rehbock's office "dozens of times," and Gotti was given access to all the lawyer's client files - including not only those of Gambino family members, but also of members of other families.

"John Gotti Jr. would go into all of Richard Rehbock's files and read the cases of all the mob guys," Alite testified. ". . . He was looking to see who was a rat and who wasn't."

Rehbock, reached at his office in Jericho, said in a phone interview that Alite's words were a total fabrication.

"John Alite's making all this up," Rehbock said. "John Alite is lying. I take great offense. I have great concern in abiding by ethical rules."

He said Alite was a former client and that he had represented Alite and Gotti at arraignment on the assault case, but Gotti had only been in his office "one or two times."

"That's absolutely not true," Rehbock said of Gotti reading other case files. "It never happened. I never, ever share with any client another client's matters. Never in a million years. I wouldn't do it."

He also said that the witnesses in the beating case were drug dealers, but he had no knowledge of any impropriety in their not testifying.

Rehbock is a graduate of St. John's University Law School, and was admitted to practice in New York in 1974, according to a lawyers' database. In 2006, after Gotti's last trial ended in a mistrial, he was quoted in the National Post, a Canadian newspaper, saying it was "sad" that prosecutors kept pursuing "this young man."



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