By bringing former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani onto his legal team, Donald Trump has merely added another mobbed-up New Yorker to his coterie of lawyers.
Joining Giuliani on the president’s legal team are the Miami-based Raskin & Raskin husband and wife legal team of Jane Serene Raskin and Martin R. Raskin, both former federal prosecutors. However, both may have significant conflicts-of-interest because of their now being on the same side as some of the criminal elements they were involved in prosecuting, namely the Russian-Jewish mobsters who surround Trump’s beleaguered personal attorney Michael Cohen and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Giuliani is taking a leave of absence from the law firm of Greenberg-Traurig, which has been cited by WMR for all sorts of dodgy activities in Washington, including its past employment of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Jane Serene Raskin is a former counsel to the chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division. Martin Raskin prosecuted cases in two states where Cohen based some of his more dubious business activities—New Jersey and Florida. Ms. Raskin prosecuted a few cases in the Florida Middle District, with the defendants usually being Hispanic businessmen. Ms. Raskin did not seem so inclined to tackle members of the Kosher Nostra mob, whose activities extended from Miami to the Tampa region, where Ms. Raskin brought a number of criminal cases for fraud and tax evasion.
U.S. court files indicate that in 2008, Ms. Raskin investigated a New York feeder fund for a Philadelphia-based hedge fund, PBHG Funds—managed by Pilgrim Baxter & Associates, a subsidiary of Old Mutual of London—but the principals were never prosecuted or sanctioned by either the Justice Department or the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of the corporate artifices involved with the New York feeder fund was Mazel Tuff LLC of New York.
Martin Raskin served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and Special Attorney with the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section assigned to the Miami Strike Force. However, a perusal of Mr. Raskin’s record when it came to prosecuting certain criminals yields a slew of light sentences sought by the federal government. A rather light sentence was sought by Raskin in the U.S. court in Tampa for Barry Jay Goldstein. Running what amounted to a patient brokering operation, Goldstein pleaded guilty in 2001 to defrauding the U.S. government by paying kickbacks for Medicare patients between 1988 and 1995.
Another “fish in a barrel” prize for Mr. Raskin was Alejandro Bernal Madrigal, a Medellin drug cartel member who was assassinated in Colombia after serving a 10-year U.S. prison sentence.
While several high-profile Soviet Jewish mobsters were taking over criminal operations from the Italian Mafia in New York and Florida, Mr. Raskin decided it was more important to prosecute Andrew Russo for obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice carried out on behalf of Carmine Persico and the Colombo family crime ring.
While there was an enormous amount of securities fraud involving Kosher Nostra mobsters, Mr. Raskin decided to concentrate his efforts on DMN Capital Investments, Inc., a New York investment firm under the influence of the Gambino and Colombo crime families.
Which brings the story around to Giuliani, who became the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1983. Although Giuliani, ostensibly, was aggressive against New York’s “Five Families” comprising the Italian Mafia—the Lucchese, Bonanno, Genovese, Gambino, and Colombo syndicates—he was less inclined to curtail the criminal activities of the rising Kosher Nostra in Brighton Beach and Manhattan. In 1985, Giuliani boasted that he was going to “wipe out the five families.” His biggest catch was Gambino chieftain John Gotti.
The 1980s were the heyday for Trump’s connections with the mob. Trump admitted to having mob-controlled construction contractors “pour the concrete” for his buildings. Trump’s Atlantic City casino and sporting operations were also heavily influenced by mobsters. By the end of the 1980s Trump was dealing less with the Gambinos and Genoveses and more with Russian-Jewish mobsters, many of whom had recently arrived in New York from Odessa, Leningrad, Kishniev, Kiev, and Moscow in the disintegrating Soviet Union.
Giuliani made a windfall in his work to advance private toll roads in the United States, a nesting ground for criminal syndicates. He also has had his own trysts with prostitutes. On December 12, 2007, we ran with the following report: “WMR has now learned from informed sources that the PMA [Pamela Martin & Associates] case involves escorts who traveled regularly to New York City to provide services to Giuliani.” PMA was the escort firm operated by the late “Washington Madam”—Deborah Jeane Palfrey.
Far from cleaning up the image of his already-tainted legal advisors, particularly following the FBI raid on Cohen’s hotel room, residence, office, and safety deposit box, Trump’s addition of Giuliani to his idea of a “dream team” merely makes it more of a nightmare for his faltering administration.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).