Federal Prosecutor Mark Bennett admitted that government witness Kathryn Clover “provided false testimony” at criminal trials, yet he continued utilizing her as a witness in a dozen other proceedings.  Now, the FreeTonyViola.com investigative team has assembled key documents about the Justice Department’s intentional use of fabricated testimony to “win” cases.  Please join us as we step inside the US Attorney’s Office and review a fully documented instance of federal prosecutors breaking the law to “win” a case.

Government witness Kathryn Clover signed a plea deal with the government, and agreed to provide “substantial assistance” to Prosecutors Mark Bennett and Assistant Ohio Attorney General Dan Kasaris.  But shortly after her trial testimony in USA v. Viola, 08-cr-506, N.D. Ohio, she had a breakdown and alerted Bennett and Kasaris that she wanted to withdraw her perjured testimony, which falsely claimed Tony Viola conspired with her to commit mortgage fraud.  Clover asked to be recalled to the stand to correct her false testimony, but Bennett and Kasaris refused, stating that her false testimony “was in the interests of justice” and that withdrawing her false statements “jeopardized the outcome of the case.” 

The United States Supreme Court has long held that it is unconstitutional for prosecutors to obtain the conviction of an American citizen by knowingly presenting false testimony to jurors.  Furthermore, evidence known to be false must be withdrawn immediately, Napue v. Illinois, 360 US 264 (1959).  In many cases when government witnesses lie, prosecutors claim they were unaware the testimony was false but, here, former Assistant US Attorney Mark Bennett – now a defense attorney – stated in writing that “Clover provided false testimony during the trial of this matter,” USA v. Clover, 10-cr-75, Docket # 46.

Not only did Prosecutors Bennett and Kasaris fail to withdraw Clover’s false testimony, they CONTINUED to utilize her as a government witness in a dozen cases, until she finally recanted her false testimony at Tony’s second trial, where he established his innocence, Ohio v. Viola, 10-cr- 536877.  At that trial, Clover admitted her plea agreement was false, and that she did not conspire with Viola to commit fraud, saying “I told Bennett that was wrong,” then said, “I take the Fifth.”

Former US Attorneys Justin Herdman and Stephen Dettelbach, along with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, cannot plead ignorance to the use of perjured testimony, as all were named in litigation asking a federal court to order prosecutors to withdraw false testimony, Viola v. Dave Yost, et. al., 20-cv-765-PAB, N.D. Ohio.

“Even though prosecutors and attorneys are required to report misconduct by colleagues and withdraw false testimony, those obligations have been ignored by law enforcement officials in order to protect Kasaris and Bennett,” said Tony Viola.   “However, an increasing number of victims of these prosecutors are coordinating efforts and will continue to litigate these cases until justice is done, no matter how long it takes.”

The following supporting documents are available in the FreeTonyViola.com Evidence Locker:

  • Clover’s Plea Agreement, obligating her to testify truthfully;
  • Mark Bennett’s written statement that Clover committed perjury;
  • Written confirmation that Prosecutors Bennett and Kasaris continued to present Clover as a fact witness despite knowledge of her perjury;
  • AUSA Bennett says perjury is in the interests of justice; and
  • Clover’s recantation of her federal court testimony at Tony’s second trial.

To learn more about Tony’s case, or to review these documents for yourself, please visit www.FreeTonyViola.com.


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