Two defendants in a multimillion-dollar telemarketing scheme are seeking dismissals, claiming the government broke promises not to charge them after they cooperated.
Mark Bausch, 41, and Rachel Glaser, 75, were among seven defendants indicted by a federal grand jury in December in a scheme authorities said defrauded struggling small businesses by falsely promising help to obtain federal grants.
The scheme, which involved four telemarketing companies run by Bausch, took in $26 million from 3,500 victims across the country between 2007 and 2010, according to federal prosecutors.
Defense lawyers Craig Drummond, who represents Bausch, and Michael Cristalli, who represents Glaser, have filed separate dismissal motions in federal court on behalf of their clients. They want Senior U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson to conduct hearings on their claims.
Cristalli said in his motion that it is “fundamentally unjust” for Glaser to have been indicted with the very people she cooperated against.
“It is simply unconscionable for the government to have so cavalierly cultivated the confidence of this elderly, crippled — and now suicidal — woman in its integrity at her considerable risk and then to unjustifiably renege on its express commitment not to prosecute her,” Cristalli wrote:
To bolster their arguments, both Cristalli and Drummond cited a similar criminal case involving New Orleans attorney David Mark, whose mortgage fraud conviction in Las Vegas was tossed out by an appeals court earlier this year.
Mark argued that federal prosecutors falsely accused him of violating an immunity agreement to testify against his co-defendants and then had him indicted. Mark is now seeking more than $215,000 in legal fees and expenses from the government.
Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden declined comment Tuesday on the telemarketing motions, but said his office planned to file written responses.
Drummond’s motion was filed under seal, but in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal he said Bausch insists he worked secretly with FBI Agent Jerald Burkin for years, providing information on roughly 50 competing telemarketing companies, and was promised immunity from prosecution.
Bausch, who changed his legal name to Mark Eting, contends that his information led to 10 FBI raids and more than 25 criminal indictments, and that he was promised a cut of the millions of dollars in assets seized in those cases, Drummond said.
Drummond said he doesn’t know whether Bausch maintains he cooperated with agents against his co-defendants in the current case.
Worried about his safety, Bausch intended to move from Las Vegas, but instead was indicted, Drummond said.
At his arraignment in December, federal prosecutors said Bausch suffered from mental issues and once told FBI agents he would kill himself before going to jail.
Cristalli argued in his dismissal motion that Glaser cooperated with prosecutors in the telemarketing case and another high-profile case that targeted the now-defunct Las Vegas company, National Audit Defense Network, in a massive tax fraud scheme more than a decade ago.
Glaser, who walks with a cane, worked as a sales representative for both NADN and Bausch, according to Cristalli. She agreed to testify in the NADN case, but was never called as a witness.
Alan Rodrigues, the general manager of NADN, was among those found guilty at trial last year. He is also charged with Bausch in the telemarketing case.
Cristalli said Burkin, FBI Agent Gene Tierney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Brown participated in debriefings of Glaser in October 2011 and February 2012.
In FBI reports attached to Cristalli’s motion, GIaser laid out what she knew about Bausch’s operation.
Unlike in the Mark case, there is no claim by prosecutors that Glaser violated a cooperation agreement and her indictment was a complete surprise, Cristalli said.
Despite her emotional distress, Glaser “stands ready to continue to cooperate with the government consistent with the cooperation she has provided through the years to date,” Cristalli wrote.
Contact Jeff German at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-8135. Follow him: @JGermanRJ