Prosecutors Dan Kasaris and Mark Bennett illegally obtained confidential defense trial strategy information by directing their Office Manager, Dawn Pasela, to befriend Tony Viola and secretly record a series of post-indictment conversations concerning defense trial preparation.  Prosecutors Bennett and Kasaris later gave Ms. Pasela money to donate towards Tony's legal fees and used her cancelled checks to subpoena defense bank accounts and track investigative expenditures before trial.  The government is not permitted to invade defense trial preparation and secretly record discussions about trial tactics, but Agent Kassouf never put a stop to these activities.  Instead, he participated in illegal behavior by listening to tapes made by Ms. Pasela and acting upon that information by threatening to prosecute individuals offering to testify as defense witnesses at Tony's trial.

During pending litigation to obtain these tapes, Agent Kassouf admitted listening to the recordings but says he didn't keep copies, and cannot produce them now, because he shipped them to an "undisclosed" location -- the joint federal-state Mortgage Fraud Task Force.  The government claims there is a difference between "listening to" and "possessing" tapes, and still refuses to produce these tapes, along with other records at issue in Tony's case.

To read the latest court filings, including Agent Kassouf's affidavit, kindly access the federal court's Pacer system, Viola v. Department of Justice, case # 18-2573, Third Circuit Court of Appeals.