From federal prosecutor to accused violent gangster, pimp, and drug-dealer...That's the unusual career trajectory taken, say the Feds, by Paul Bergrin, who was indicted earlier this month in a 39-count racketeering indictment.
In a drama that could have been made for HBO, Bergrin -- a white-collar defense lawyer who once represented, pro bono, a solider accused of abusing Abu Ghraib detainees -- seems to have allowed his gangster clients to drag him into a world of violent crime. And he may have gone a lot further than Maury Levy ever did for Stringer Bell.
Bergrin, a former AUSA with the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey, is charged with leading a criminal enterprise that used violence, intimidation, and deceit to generate millions of dollars, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Among the most eye-catching allegations against him:
- That he used a Newark restaurant as a front for a cocaine-distribution network.
- That he oversaw a $1,000-an-hour call-girl ring in New York City.
- That he had a witness killed in one drug case, and hired a hitman to kill another.