Photo Courtesy of Halscott Megaro PA
By Forum Staff
A Forest Hills criminal defense attorney was among four men indicted in Brooklyn federal court for their alleged roles in a scheme to fraudulently obtain early release for an inmate, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue announced on Monday.
Lawyer Scott Brettschneider, also known as “Mighty Whitey,” Charles Gallman, also known as
“T.A.,” Richard Marshall, a.k.a. “Love,” and Reginald Shabazz-Muhammad have been charged with conspiring to make false statements and making false statements to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, an inmate who is accepted into and successfully completes the BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program is potentially eligible to receive a year off his or her sentence. As alleged in the indictment, Marshall, 56, in prison on a drug rap, his attorney Brettschneider, 61, and Gallman, 56, and Shabazz-Muhammad, 62, wrote a letter to the BOP, falsely recounting Marshall’s history of substance and alcohol dependence. The missive was signed by Shabazz-Muhammad, purporting to be Marshall’s treatment provider, and was submitted to the bureau on Marshall’s behalf, so he could fraudulently gain entry into the RDAP.
Shabazz-Muhammad was not Marshall’s treatment provider; he was Brettschneider’s assistant. Intercepted communications over a court-authorized wiretap revealed all three men talking to Marshall on a smuggled cell phone in prison, discussing what the letter should state to ensure Marshall’s acceptance into the program.
Gallman predicted that it would “knock a year off his sentence,” and doubted that the BOP would be “scrutinizing it that much.” As it turned out, the BOP did scrutinize it, Donoghue noted, and requested that Marshall submit progress reports of his past treatment.
According to Donoghue, Shabazz-Muhammad, a borough resident, is on the run. Gallman, also from Queens, and Marshall were arrested on Thursday and ordered detained. Brettschneider was arrested on Monday. He, too, was ordered detained.
“Integrity is the foundation of our criminal justice system,” said Queens DA Richard Brown. “These allegations go to the core of that foundation and are prejudicial to the administration of justice. The charges today send a strong message to those who would undermine that integrity that they will be held accountable. No one can be allowed to ‘fix’ any part of a case. I commend our federal partners in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District and the Federal Bureau of Investigation working with my Rackets, Special Victims and District Attorney’s Detective Bureaus for their vigorous pursuit of justice in this matter.”