Prosecution for profit scheme detailed in lawsuit filed by attorney Darryl Pittman
Plaintiff's attorney Darryl Pittman claims prosecutors promised him $450,000 if Uri Gofman and Tony Viola were convicted and jailed on mortgage fraud charges prosecuted by a Federal-State Mortgage Fraud Task Force. Pittman and government informant Carlton Barton initially filed a civil suit against Gofman and Viola, claiming that Barton was duped into buying investment properties by a salesman of Viola's brokerage who sold Gofman properties listed on the local Multiple Listing Service. When defendants in that civil case refused to pay Barton money, Pittman convinced prosecutors Mark Bennett and Dan Kasaris to file criminal charges. Pittman's suit says he provided an "expert report" and "investigative materials" to the Task Force and drafted the indictment used by prosecutors. Now, Pittman and Barton claim that prosecutors reneged on "agreements" to pay Pittman and Barton, case # 16-cv-857905, Barton vs. Cuyahoga County, et. al., Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
"Carlton Barton and other Pittman clients testified as government witnesses at trial" said Tony Viola, "but financial benefits promised to these informants were never disclosed before either trial and none of the evidence described in the lawsuit has ever been provided to the defense. Had we known Pittman and his clients stood to earn a half a million dollars from this prosecution, Attorney Pittman would have been subpoenaed to testify about this indictment for profit scheme."
Tony Viola, who proved his innocence at a second trial yet remains in jail, filed a Motion to Intervene in this litigation, seeking a court order to compel the production of all agreements between federal and state prosecutors ands Pittman to award undisclosed financial benefits to various individuals. This motion also seeks a forensic accounting of all forfeiture and restitution collected by federal and state prosecutors in cases prosecuted by the Task Force.
For additional information, please visit www.FreeTonyViola.com. To view a copy of Pittman's lawsuit, please visit the FreeTonyViola.com Evidence Locker.