Thursday, January 11, 2007


Whenever old friends and acquaintances of mine have appeared in Toobworld in the past, it's usually been as characters, other "residents" of the TV Universe. That's been the case in the past with Shirley Jordan, Mary Cadorette, and Dan Lauria, to drop a few names.

But every so often, somebody I know contributes to their own standings in the League of Themselves, as was the case on the evening news last night with my friend ADA Gene Hurley. True, it's just a news story, but at least he's on the right side of the story!

Here's the online story from WABC-7:

(Newark - WABC, January 10, 2007) - A former federal prosecutor and attorney who represented a big bucks Manhattan brothel in a sleezy tabloid scandal was indicted on charges he used his law office to stay in the prostitution business.

Officials say 51-year-old Paul Bergrin and James Cortopassi, a 27-year-old law clerk at Bergrin's Newark firm, were charged with promoting prostitution, conspiracy and money laundering Wednesday. They say a third man, Hiram Ortiz, who owns a Bloomfield tavern and is a former New Jersey State Trooper, was also indicted.

The indictment charges Bergrin with laundering more than $800,000 in credit card proceeds from the escort service NY Confidential. Bergrin represented NY Confidential's proprietor when the escort service was busted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office in 2005.

Here's how Gene's involvement played out, as written up in today's New York Times:

Eugene Hurley, an assistant district attorney, said at a news conference yesterday in Manhattan that one indication that Mr. Bergrin controlled the escort service was “the frequency with which he and friends he brought to the agency were given free sex.”

It was at that point his boss, Robert Morganthau, known by Dick Tracy aficionados as Pruneface, quipped, "That's what's called eating into the profits."

According to the Times, Bergrin's lawyer went on the attack against Gene and the DA's office:

“Sometimes you’re very good at what you do, you can rankle a few individuals,” Mr. Tiffany said. “There are prosecutors out there that may have very distinct opinions about Mr. Bergrin. They should worry less about getting their names in the paper, and focus on their job, which is to prosecute crimes, not to attempt to tarnish or belittle the reputation of an attorney.”

If you want to see Gene "in action", you can find the local NBC video here.


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