4 Courthouse Turns Murder Trials into Dollars
While judges preside over forced auctions, such as those involving real estate, it's a given that the two spheres should never overlap. However, some lawyers and judges object, cleverly reasoning, "BUT MONEY!" before they begin wildly discounting their ethics in preparation for a moral fire sale.
The scales weigh justice and/or gold bullion.
Take, for example, Judge Thomas J. Maloney, who sold murder verdicts for fees between $10,000 and $100,000. As a lawyer, Maloney formed ties with organized crime and regularly paid off judges to secure lenient verdicts for a known hit man and other mafia clientele. Fast-forward through 13 years presiding over criminal cases, and you have Illinois' only known instance of a judge fixing murder trials.
To execute his legal chicanery, Maloney used his bailiff and a well acquainted lawyer to ferry messages and payments between the judge and crooked lawyers. In at least three separate murder cases and a fourth involving taxes, Maloney and company arranged bribes.
Sometimes he'd take both sides' bribes, judge honestly, and then return the loser's cash.
However, when their activities fell under the microscope of a massive FBI investigation, the judge panicked and decided to cover his tracks the way any good villain would: by trying to silence the witnesses.
It took the murder trial of Nathson Fields and Earl Hawkins, two gangsters accused of killing rival gang members, to finally catch Maloney. The judge, fearing that he had been spotted accepting a $10,000 bribe for their acquittal, returned the sum to their lawyer mid trial (totally the least conspicuous time to do that, buddy!) and subsequently sentenced the defendants to death (because if something is worth doing, it's worth overdoing). Ultimately, though, the FBI didn't buy Maloney's overcompensating verdict and wound up busting his crooked ass, which was later tried and convicted for his crimes.
3 Police and Firefighters Become Drug Peddlers and Extortionists
Police officers of New York City's 30th Precinct spent a good portion of the 1980s and early '90s amassing a list of transgressions that would have impressed the Goodfellas -- or at least elicited an approving nod. The long, track-marked arm of the law became synonymous with reselling dope that was confiscated in drug raids and made a habit of dismantling cars in search of hidden drug stashes to steal. In at least one case, drug pushers were forced to acquire their dope from the police via auction. In another, a corrupt cop straight-up shot an unsuspecting dealer for his drug stash. And now, if only for a brief and ill-advised moment, you've felt bad for a drug dealer.
He was just trying to get by. Unlike Roy, who's still a greedy dick.
Of the 191 cops employed at the 30th Precinct, an estimated 25 percent were involved in illicit activities, and approximately 1 in 6 was eventually arrested. The courts were forced to overturn 125 separate drug convictions against 98 different criminals, of whom 70 percent actually admitted to committing a crime. The fallout ended up being among the costliest in New York's history, flushing $10 million down the toilet like a panicked Lorraine Bracco.
But the cops aren't the only heroes ever to become robbers. A more recent example comes from the Miami Beach Fire Department, which in 2012 became notorious for demanding cash to overlook fire code violations at a local nightclub. Among the key players in the department's racket were four fire code compliance officers, including one who ran drugs with a corrupt cop on the side. Months of FBI surveillance uncovered a pattern of payoffs rendered by Club Dolce in order to avoid incurring fines of $40,000 and $50,000. To cover up the crimes, the senior fire inspector masked the ransom as charitable donations.
That year's calendar made $75,000. And that was before the money laundering.
Over the course of this extortion, millions of dollars in fines went up in smoke (sorry) as compliance officers became adept at the fine arts of assault, fraud, and abuse of power. That kind of morality can't be taught.
No seriously, don't teach that to anyone. The world's bad enough.