He Won the Trial, Why is He Still in Jail?
Tony Viola was tried twice on identical charges by a joint federal-state mortgage fraud task force. Prosecutors alleged Tony duped banks like JP Morgan into making ‘no money down’ mortgage loans. Tony was convicted in federal court and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in jail. But from jail, and without an attorney, he proved his innocence at a second trial on the same charges using evidence the Justice Department hid before the first trial. Prosecutors possessed evidence proving Tony’s innocence all along but never provided it to the defense. The Prosecutor’s Office Manager, Dawn Pasela, gave Tony that evidence before the second trial, where the government’s own documents and evidence proved that banks knowingly approved ‘no income no asset’ loans without down payments.
Prior to the first trial, Assistant US Attorney Mark Bennett and State Prosecutor Dan Kasaris interviewed bank executives, who said that lender employees were authorized to permit ‘no money down’ loans and to waive underwriting conditions. But when the defense asked for such interviews, both Prosecutor Bennett and Prosecutor Kasaris lied under oath and in written communications, falsely stating no such interviews existed. Summaries of those interviews, called FBI 302 reports, were provided by Ms. Pasela and used at the second trial, where Tony confronted bank executives with their own statements that banks allowed and knowingly approved ‘no money down’ loans. Ms. Pasela also provided lender files and internal spreadsheets that confirmed banks knowingly waived lending conditions in writing and knew that borrowers were not making down payments. Since banks knew the loans in Tony’s case were no money down and decided to make them anyways, there is no fraud, the government’s theory is wrong and Tony is innocent.
The second trial revealed massive government misconduct, including secret payments to government informants, an illegal spying operation to record Tony after he was indicted, the intentional destruction of computers by the government, and the federal government’s use of the joint task force to shift evidence around between locations and jurisdictions to hide it from the defense. Recent public records litigation uncovered a romantic relationship between Prosecutor Kasaris and government witness Kathryn Clover, who Mr. Kasaris hired as an employee of the prosecutor’s office. Dan Kasaris sent hundreds of e mails to Ms. Clover over a four year period professing his ‘endless love’ for her. For details about secret tapes, missing computers and romantic e mails, please consult the federal court’s PACER system, Viola v. Department of Justice, case no. 15-cv-242, Western District of Pennsylvania, Judge Susan Paradise Baxter presiding.
“Prosecutors Bennett and Kasaris broke the law, ignored the constitution and engaged in unlawful ‘win at all costs’ litigation. Despite their best efforts, I proved my innocence after a six week jury trial. We need to work together to shine a bright spotlight on how the Justice Department operates and make sure what the government did to me never happens to anyone else. Thank you for spreading the word and sharing our website with reporters, bloggers and concerned citizens.”