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The New York Times call Carl Mayer: "A populist crusader and ... a maverick lawyer." New York Times, October 15, 2004.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005



609-921-0253 (office)
609-462-7979 (cell)


Here is how Jon Corzine described himself to eminent journalist William Greider in an interview in the nation magazine on September 11, 2002: “ a senator now who is interested in absolutely making sure, particularly in the current environment, that we have transparency and openness…”

“Jon Corzine broke his word to be open and honest about his financial dealings. Jon Corzine’s campaign for Governor has amounted to one ethical and dishonest misstep after another,” said Carl Mayer, a Princeton attorney who on Thursday, September 1, 2005 filed an ethics complaint against United States Senator Jon Corzine in the offices of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics in the Hart Senate office building.

“Corzine’s campaign chair is under investigation by the United States Attorney’s office. The largest recipient of Corzine’s largesse – New Jersey Boss George Norcross – is also under investigation. Corzine’s would be business partner Charles Kushner is in jail. Corzine has failed to honor his promise to place his assets in a blind trust. He lied about giving money to a New Jersey minister. Robert Torricelli, the disgraced ex-Senator is de facto running his campaign. And now we believe he has broken the law,” continued Mayer.

The substance of the complaint is that Senator Corzine failed to disclose, as required by the Senate Code of Conduct, a half million dollar mortgage loan that he made to his girlfriend Carla Katz in 2002 when Corzine was still married. Katz is the president of the largest union in the state representing state employees. Her union endorsed Senator Corzine for Governor after receiving the mortgage loan. As reported in New York magazine, former Senator Robert Torricelli introduced Corzine and Katz.

The substance of the complaint is similar to that brought against Senator Robert Torricelli who was stiffly rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for taking illegal gifts from convicted felon David Chang. Torricelli was the last Senator to be so censured, in a move that ultimately forced Torricelli to abandon his re-election efforts.

“The only difference between this case and the Torricelli case is that Robert Torricelli was caught taking bribes and not disclosing them and Jon Corzine has been caught giving bribes and not disclosing them,” said Carl Mayer, a New Jersey attorney who filed the complaint.

The complaint alleges that Corzine’s failure to disclose his assets was wide-ranging and intentional, subjecting the Senator to criminal penalties. “What did Senator Corzine own and when did he own it?” asked Mayer. “This is the most basic question that the Senate rules require each Senator to answer and Corzine has violated those rules by not disclosing.”

“Who would have believed that the Democratic Party, which historically stood for Main Street against Wall Street would tap as one of its emerging leader a Wall Street banker who helped engineer some of the greatest financial crimes in American history,” said Mayer.

Mayer said that Corzine’s deceptions began at his former investment bank, Goldman Sachs.

-- The Wall Street Journal criticized Corzine and Goldman Sachs for inventing their own peculiar device for Enron back in 1993 with a similar purpose--the "monthly income preferred shares" (or MIPS) that enabled Enron to sell fifty-year securities through an entity it created on a Caribbean island. For tax purposes, Enron described the preferred stock as "debt" and claimed tax deductions on the interest payments to investors. For shareholder reports, Enron called it "equity" that supposedly boosted the company's capital value. As Goldman's chairman, Corzine joined the lobbying efforts to overturn the Treasury Department's objections to this novel device. He signed an industry letter to members of Congress, urging them to keep the regulators off their backs, and Treasury eventually gave up the fight. The device is now used by other companies to raise somewhat cheaper capital offshore and, in the same stroke, reduce their US tax obligations.
-- Goldman Sachs has performed investment banking for such clients as Enron, Tyco and Worldcom. Executives of these companies, Kenneth Lay, Dennis Kozlowski, and John Sidgmore, respectively, received IPO shares from Goldman Sachs. The firm is suspected of having offered these and other investment banking clients large portions of IPO shares in return for their continued business.
-- Goldman paid millions in fines to settle charges brought by the SEC and NY State.

Carl J. Mayer is an attorney and formerly served on the town council in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of “Shakedown: The Fleecing of The Garden State.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005


News Advisory:

Contact: Bruce Afran (609-924-2075 Carl Mayer (609-462-7979)

Mayer and Afran to Disclose Forrester’s Washington Insurance Front

Heartland Fidelity Evading New Jersey Elections Law, Lawyers say

Forrester using D.C. shell to hide Heartland Fidelity’s New Jersey business

NJ Attorney General asked to open inquiry

Princeton (August 9). In a press conference today at 3 P.M. at the ____________ lawyers Carl Mayer and Bruce Afran will disclose that Republican candidate Doug Forrester’s campaign cash source, a Washington, D.C. insurance company, is a shell corporation with no employees in Washington.

Afran and Mayer have learned that Heartland Fidelity conducts all of its business through Forrester’s Benecard corporation in New Jersey and has been using an answering service as its Washington, D.C. “office”.

Heartland Fidelity has no employees in the District of Columbia and all of its insurance business is conducted at Benecard’s New Jersey headquarters, the lawers will announce.

New Jersey law prohibits insurance companies doing business in New Jersey from making contributions to political campaigns.

“Based on the facts we have learned, Heartland should be prohibited from contributing any funds to the Forrester campaign”, Afran said. “By any reasonable standard of law, Heartland Fidelity is “doing business” in New Jersey”.

Mayer and Afran, who last year sued to force an election for former democratic Governor Jim McGreevey’s successor, have been among outspoken opponents of New Jersey’s perpetual and growing political corruption.

Mayer, who this week sought a federal investigation against democratic powerbroker George Norcross, said the lawyers believe in attacking entrenched corruption in both parties. “Republicans and democrats alike have shown a total disregard for our state’s laws and any ethical principles”, Mayer said.

Time and Date: 1 P.M., Doral Forrestal Hotel, Route 1 North, Princeton,
Wednesday, September 14, 2004

Photo and Broadcast Opportunity

Monday, August 08, 2005


August 8, 2005

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
Phone: 202-353-1555

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

We write as attorneys, elected officials, former elected officials, law professors and former prosecutors to ask that you take specific and critical measures to investigate and prosecute wide-spread criminal political corruption in the State of New Jersey.

We need not recount the massive violations of federal law that have already occurred in New Jersey. The efforts by lobbyists and contractors to bribe politicians at all levels of New Jersey government in return for government favors -- in violation of several federal statutes -- have been the subject of numerous investigative series in virtually every publication in the state as well as in national media outlets like the New York Times, Sixty Minutes and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Academic political scientists of national repute routinely opine that New Jersey is the most politically corrupt state in the nation.

The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey openly admits that when he attends meetings with U.S. Attorneys from around the country, that he is approached by his fellow prosecutors who express disbelief and outrage by what they read occurring in New Jersey. Dozens of low-level New Jersey officials and lobbyists have gone to jail.

Most incredibly, as detailed below, a United States District Court Judge, sua sponte, after the conviction of executives of the New Jersey-based Commerce bank in a federal trial in Philadelphia, exhorted federal prosecutors to pursue Commerce Bank and other lobbyists for federal racketeering violations.

Extraordinary corruption requires extraordinary measures. Despite low-level convictions, pay-to-play business-as-usual is still the order of the day in New Jersey. Many of the same actors involved in illegal schemes still participate in New Jersey governance. Only your office can provide the resources and tools needed to end criminal political corruption in New Jersey.

Therefore, we ask that you take the following measures:

1.Appoint an Outside Prosecutor to investigate possible criminal political corruption in the state of New Jersey in violation of federal law.

Since the lapse of the Independent Counsel statute, the Attorney General still retains the right to appoint an Outside Prosecutor or Special Counsel under Justice Department guidelines.

2. Impanel a Special Grand Jury that will sit and hear evidence regarding a broad pattern of possible criminal conduct in New Jersey politics in violation of the federal Hobbs Act 18 U.S.C. § 1951 and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (18 USCS §§ 1961 et seq.)

As provided in 18 U.S.C. § 3331(a) “the district court must also impanel a special grand jury when the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or a designated Assistant Attorney General certifies in writing to the chief judge of the district that in his/her judgment, a special grand jury is necessary ‘because of criminal activity in the district.’"
The Special Grand Jury has a duty under 18 U.S.C. § 3332(a) "to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district."

There is important precedent for a special grand jury in New Jersey. In the late 1960s a special grand jury was impaneled by Essex County prosecutor Joseph Lordi to investigate allegations of corruption in Newark; working with the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, the criminal activities of Newark Mayor Hugh Adonezio’s ring were ended.

We are not the first to suggest broad prosecutions for racketeering involving those businesses and politicians that make private deals at the public expense. In May of this year, two Commerce Bank executives were convicted of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 and honest services wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1346 and honest services mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1346 for their roles in bribing public officials in the City of Philadelphia in return for City contracts.

After the jury rendered its verdict, on May 9, 2005, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson suggested, sua sponte, that the U.S. Attorneys office bring a RICO case against Commerce Bank and the many other bankers, lawyers and public officials that defraud the public by selling government contracts to the highest bidder. This so called “pay to play” system of criminal corruption is, in fact, more endemic throughout the State of New Jersey than it is in Philadelphia.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, in response to Judge Baylson’s suggestion, claimed that a lack of resources would be an obstacle to a RICO case against Commerce Bank and other institutions engaged in plying politicians with bribes. These comments echo those of the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, who told the Newark Star Ledger on January 12, 2003: "I'm sure if I had another FBI squad, I'd have even more cases; so many of these people [New Jersey politicians taking bribes] are just so stupid."
The Justice Department ought to make a commitment to end racketeering in New Jersey by taking the steps requested in this letter. We recognize that we, like Judge Baylson, are making serious charges. But we and other whistleblowers have provided crucial information that has allowed the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey to prosecute dozens of local elected officials and lobbyists. It is time to take the advice of whistleblowers and broaden these prosecutions and devote the public resources necessary to stop, once and for all time, these manifest abuses of the public trust.

3.Take the position that federal Grand Juries may, on their own initiative, and independent of federal prosecutors, deliver indictments and hear testimony from whistleblowers possessing evidence of criminal political corruption.

This practice, know as “presentment” was prevalent throughout much of the nation’s history and is specifically protected under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The literal meaning and language of the Constitution must be respected and the Justice Department should encourage citizen “presentment” around the country as an important supplementary mechanism for fighting corruption.

We are submitting to you today evidence of RICO and Hobbs Act violations by Commerce Bank and South Jersey “Boss” George Norcross; the same information is being transmitted to U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Chesler and to the sitting federal Grand Jury in Trenton, New Jersey. In essence, this evidence suggests that Nocross and Commerce Bank sought to bribe and extort the Mayor of Palmyra, New Jersey in a scheme to remove the Town Attorney of Palmyra and appoint another attorney for the financial benefit of Norcross and Commerce Bank. See Exhibit A and Exhibit B.

4. Instruct the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Southern District of New York to join the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey in his investigation of political corruption in New Jersey and take over the investigation of persons that might pose a conflict for the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.

While the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Chris Christie, has done an admirable job of prosecuting lower-level elected officials, we have direct and indirect evidence that some of the most influential politicians and corporations in New Jersey may have committed federal crimes and U.S. Attorney Christie may have conflicts regarding some of these actors.

Our immediate concern is that the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey admitted, after widespread reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Newark Star Ledger in 2003, that he had a private lunch with George Norcross in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 2003. The lunch occurred while Mr. Christie was said to be exploring a run for Governor of the State; Mr. Norcross himself has bragged in conversations recorded on tape by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, that his support is critical for anyone seeking statewide office in New Jersey. Furthermore, in 2003, companies affiliated with George Norcross were under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI.

Mr. Christie has made no secret of his intense involvement in partisan politics. He was listed as a Pioneer in the Bush campaign of 2000: one of only 241 Pioneers in the country that raised over $100,000 for the President. As late as June of 2003, Mr. Christie, while serving as U.S. Attorney, contributed to the 2004 Bush re-election campaign .

Since Mr. Christie became U.S. Attorney, Mr. Christie’s brother has undergone scrutiny because he has contributed over $400,000 to various New Jersey state GOP coffers; in comparison, he gave less than $12,000 prior to the time that his brother applied to become U.S. Attorney for New Jersey. Many of these state and county organizations also receive contributions from Commerce Bank.

While we suggest nothing untoward involving U.S. Attorney Christie or his brother, even the appearance of impropriety or conflict of interest would be avoided if the Attorney General were to appoint an Outside Prosecutor and if the U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of Pennsylvania would be charged with broadening the investigation of criminal political corruption in New Jersey.

5. Commit to a policy of no more deals for those who violate federal law in the process of committing criminal political corruption in New Jersey.

6. Bring in for questioning the dozen so-called “bosses” that all major media outlets, judges, prosecutors and the public now recognize control the daily machinery of New Jersey politics.

The contention that these men have no knowledge of the criminal activity that so many have been prosecuted for over the last ten years strains credulity. One of those “bosses” is George Norcross.

The notion that a quid pro quo is commonplace in political transactions in New Jersey is now received wisdom. Consider New Jersey lobbyist Alan Marcus’ recent description of political business in this state, as told to New York magazine: “In New Jersey, you contribute money not for access but results. Anybody who doesn’t admit that is lying.” Numerous convicted politicians and business contributors in this state have made similar admissions in entering pleas in New Jersey. A quid pro quo is the essence of bribery, Hobbs Act and RICO crimes and these admissions should play a prominent role in investigations and convictions.

Now is not the time to stop at individual low-level convictions. Only by taking the measures outlined in this letter, can those who are running by all accounts the most criminally corrupt political system in the country be brought to justice.

We hereby request a meeting with you to discuss these issues.


Hon. Carl J. Mayer, Esq., Former Committeeman, Princeton Township
Hon. John Gural, Mayor, Palmyra Borough
Ted Rosenberg, Esq., Solicitor, Palmyra Borough


Patrick L. Meehan
U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250.
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4476.

David Kelley
U.S. Attorney
Southern District of New York
1 St. Andrews Plaza
New York City, NY 10007

Christopher Christie
United States Attorney, District of New Jersey
970 Broad Street, 7th Floor
Newark, NJ 07102

Honorable Stanley R.Chesler
United States Courthouse
402 E. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608

Sunday, August 07, 2005


Some states allow citizens to contact grand juries by statute, but leave it to the discretion of the judge to allow the citizen to appear before the grand jury. . See, e.g., Colo. Rev. Stat. § 16-5-204(4)(l) ("Any person may approach the prosecuting attorney or the grand jury and request . . . to appear before a grand jury. . . . The court may permit the person to testify or appear before the grand jury, if the court finds that such testimony or appearance would serve the interests of justice."); Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 15, § 1256 ("Evidence relating to offenses cognizable by the court may be offered to the grand jury by the Attorney General, the district attorney, the assistant district attorney and, at the discretion of the presiding justice, by such other persons as said presiding justice may permit."); Neb. Rev. Stat. § 29-1410.01 ("Any person may approach the prosecuting attorney or the grand jury and request . . . to appear before a grand jury. . . . The court may permit the person to testify or appear before the grand jury if the court finds that such testimony or appearance would serve the interests of justice."); N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-626(d) ("Any person not called as a witness who desires to testify before the grand jury concerning a criminal matter . . . must apply to the district attorney or to a superior court judge. The judge or the district attorney in his discretion may call the witness to appear before the grand jury.")
Other state statutes explicitly allow citizens to present evidence of crimes to a grand jury. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-12-104(a) ("Any person having knowledge or proof of the commission of a public offense triable or indictable in the county may testify before the grand jury."); Tex. Crim. Proc. Code Ann. § 20.09 ("The grand jury shall inquire into all offenses liable to indictment of which any member may have knowledge, or of which they shall be informed by the attorney representing the State, or any other credible person.").
West Virginia is unique because a citizen's right to approach a grand jury and present evidence of an offense is a constitutional right. State ex rel. Miller v. Smith, 285 S.E. 2d 500 (W. Va. 1981); W. Va. Const. art. III, 17 states "the courts of this State shall be open, and every person, for an injury done to him, in his person, property, or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law; and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay." The Supreme Court of West Virginia stated the following in justifying this right:To fulfill its functions of protecting individual citizens and providing them with a forum for bringing complaints within the criminal justice system, the grand jury must be open to the public for the independent presentation of evidence before it. [Thus], ... any person may go to the grand jury to present a complaint to it. Id. at 504-05.
Other states permit citizens to contact grand juries by operation of common law. See, e.g., King v. Second Nat'l Bank & Trust Co., 234 Ala. 106, 173 So. 498, 499 (Ala. 1937) ("Public policy demands that the citizen, without hazard to himself, may freely bring before the grand jury the fact that a crime has been committed, request an investigation, and furnish such information as he has in aid of the investigation. In this the citizen is not a prosecutor."); In re Lester, 77 Ga. 143, 1886 WL 1476, at 3 (Ga. 1886) (holding that "any citizen" can prosecute offenses or "give information of the fact to the grand jury"); State v. Stewart, 45 La. Ann. 1164, 14 So. 143, 145 (La. 1893) ("The leading state witness went without summons or request before the grand jury, and gave his own version of the case against defendant, and instituted this prosecution. The witness had the undoubted right to go before the grand jury voluntarily, and disclose his knowledge of the case."); In re Petition of Thomas, 434 A.2d 503, 507 (Me. 1981) (explaining limited codification of common law right of grand jury access); Piracci v. State, 207 Md. 499, 115 A.2d 262, 268 (Md. 1955) ("Any citizen who claims to have knowledge tending to show the commission of crimes has a right to ask permission to appear before the grand jury ….the citizen should first exhaust his remedy before the magistrate and State's Attorney . . . ." (citing Brack v. Wells, 184 Md. 86, 40 A.2d 319, 321-24 (Md. 1944))); Hott v. Yarborough, 112 Tex. 179, 245 S.W. 676 (Tex. Comm'n App. 1922) ("It is unquestionably the right, if not, in fact, the duty, of every one who has knowledge of the commission of a criminal offense . . . to call to the attention of the grand jury the facts within his knowledge . . . ."); State ex rel. Miller v. Smith, 168 W. Va. 745, 285 S.E.2d 500, 504-05 (W. Va. 1981) ("By application to the circuit judge, whose duty is to insure access to the grand jury, any person may go to the grand jury to present a complaint to it. This principle of approachability lies in the foundation of the very concept of a grand jury."); cf. State ex rel. Wild v. Otis, 257 N.W.2d 361, 364 (Minn. 1977) ("While a citizen does not have a right to appear before the grand jury, he is free to attempt to get the grand jury to take action, and under [Minnesota court rules], the grand jury can permit an aggrieve citizen to appear as a witness for this purpose."), cert. denied sub nom. Wild v. Otis, 434 U.S. 1003, 98 S. Ct. 707, 54 L. Ed. 2d 746 (1978).

Saturday, August 06, 2005


MONDAY, AUGUST 8, 2005 CONTACT: Carl Mayer 609-921-0253
2:30 PM (609)462-7979 (cell)


WHAT: Press Conference.
WHERE: New Jersey Statehouse Steps.
WHEN: Monday, August 8 at 2:30 pm.
WHO: John Gural, Mayor of Palmyra and Carl Mayer, Former Princeton Committeeman.

New Jersey’s leading whistleblowers and corruption-fighters have joined forces in a new legal filing that could have important implications for ending criminal political corruption in New Jersey.

The whistleblowers will announce that they have submitted to a federal grand jury sitting in Trenton, New Jersey transcripts and other evidence from the Norcross/Commerce Bank investigation. They will be asking the Grand Jury to independently indict -- without the participation of the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey -- George Norcross and Commerce Bank for conspiracy to commit bribery in violation of the federal Hobbs Act and for obstruction of justice.

The whistleblowers will also release a letter delivered to the Attorney General of the United States requesting a meeting.

The letter outlines a six-point plan that the Justice Department can immediately implement to end criminal political corruption in New Jersey. The letter requests, among other things, that a Special Grand Jury be convened to hear evidence of criminal political corruption in New Jersey. The whistleblowers will also ask that the Justice Department immediately bring in the most powerful county bosses for questioning regarding their knowledge of politicians and lobbyists already convicted of crimes in New Jersey.



Monday, August 01, 2005

Welcome To The New Jersey Untouchables.

Welcome to the New Jersey Untouchables. We are a coalition of lawyers and public citizens dedicated to ending the tyranny of corruption in New Jersey State politics. This is a home for whistleblowers, dedicated citizens, and just ordinary citizens fed up with the criminal corruption in our state. We invite not only your comments, but your participation. Carl J. Mayer, Esq.