Justice Department Lawyer Indicted for Giving Documents to the Mob
DETROIT (AP) _ A former Justice Department attorney was indicted Tuesday on charges of leaking an IRS report and other evidence involving a reputed Mafia leader, authorities said.
Theodore Forman, 29, a former trial attorney in the tax division of the Justice Department, was charged with obstruction of justice and criminal contempt in the federal indictment, U.S. Attorney Alan M. Gershel said in a statement.
Forman handed over documents that had been collected during a tax violation case involving Vito Giacalone and Nathaniel C. Deday LaRene, Gershel said. The FBI has identified Giacalone as a top leader in Detroit’s Mafia and active in organized crime for three decades. LaRene has been a lawyer for Giacalone for several years.
The documents allegedly leaked included a description of evidence obtained during the IRS investigation, grand jury testimony, a discussion of potential defenses for targets of the investigation, a special agent’s conclusions and a list of witnesses, with their addresses and some phone numbers.
None of the information was public record.
If convicted, Forman could face up to five years in prison for the obstruction charge and as much as $500,000 in fines, Gershel said. There is no set maximum punishment for criminal contempt.
Forman did not immediately return a message left at his answering service.
As a Justice Department attorney, Forman reviewed federal criminal income tax investigations and proposed prosecutions for cases all over the country. He had access to materials in the Giacalone-LaRene case, but was never assigned to evaluate the IRS report or other pertinent documents, the indictment said.
Under Forman’s supervision, photo copies of the documents were made in April 1992 and brought from Washington, D.C., to Detroit, the indictment said. They were given to an unauthorized person who later handed it over to at least one target in the tax investigation. The target was not identified in court documents.
The materials included transcripts of grand jury testimony in the alleged tax and conspiracy violations pending against Giacalone and LaRene. Testimony, taken from November 1991 to February 1992, included witness interviews, analysis of financial records and taxpayer information.
Giacalone is accused of concealing income from the federal government by laundering money through a Detroit-area supermarket. According to the September 1992 indictment, Giacalone concealed a payment of $410,000 he received from selling his share of a Detroit-area juice company.
LaRene allegedly helped design a scheme to deposit the payment in the supermarket’s bank account. The money was later turned over to Giacalone’s son, the government said.
The trial involving LaRene, Giacalone, and his son, Jack Vito Giacalone, was scheduled to begin in U.S. District Court in Detroit this week. It was postponed because a key witness in the case has been missing since March.
The Giacalones and LeRene have unlisted telephone numbers and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Giacalone’s brother, Anthony Giacalone, was questioned before a federal grand jury in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. He was one of the men the Teamsters boss was supposed to meet the day he disappeared from a Detroit-area restaurant in July 1975.