A verdict is expected tomorrow in the money laundering trial of Murder Inc. Records founders Irv and Chris Lorenzo. Federal prosecutors charge the men laundered large sums of money through the company from reputed drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff.
Judge Edward Korman dealt a minor blow to the defense this morning when he rejected attorney Gerald Shargel's supposed "brand spanking new evidence" about prosecution witness Donnell Nichols. Nichols was scheduled to testify again today about a taped conversation between he and an undisclosed party, but the evidence wasn't allowed into the courtroom.
Shargel was also rebuffed by the judge when he asked that his client be "acquitted" based upon "zoning concerns," implying that the charges against Murder Inc. were outside of the trial's regional jurisdiction.
The morning continued with the defense calling its first witness, self-employed forensic accountant John Ryan. Under questioning from Shargel, Ryan, a former special agent for the IRS, listed a series of Murder Inc. account withdrawals from January 2000 to December 2002, totaling $852,267. Ryan then read records showing that many of the withdrawals were made from casinos, supporting the theory that Chris Lorenzo spent the large sums of cash for his gambling habits.
During cross-examination, Ryan fumbled when questioned by prosecutor Carolyn Pokorny about the logic of examining bank withdrawals, rather than deposits, in a money laundering case. When asked if he examined Chris' deposits, Ryan hesitated for several minutes, and finally said he couldn't recall whether the defense asked him to analyze those documents. He also admitted that he analyzed most of the records, but not all.
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