Immediately post-trial, the Defense uncovered a trove of evidence which had not been provided for trial. This included that Waltzer was a serious cocaine addict, who had been under psychiatric care for nearly 20 years, diagnosed bipolar, taking numerous mind-altering psychiatric medications, and had even been under court-ordered mental health counselling while cooperating. The defense and jury knew none of this.
George filed motion after motion arguing the unfairness of the trial in not having this evidence. The District Court denied him every time, notwithstanding the significant media attention that the withholding of evidence had garnered.
In January 2015, after years of litigating the withholding of evidence, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied George relief. The panel of three judges ignored that
(1) Waltzer had been diagnosed bipolar while working with the prosecution team;
(2) had been under psychiatric care for nearly 20 years;
(3) was using cocaine “five days a week”, not the “casual” user that he falsely testified to being;
(4) that he was medicated on an astonishing array of mind-altering psychiatric drugs.
Finally, but irreconcilably, the panel found that it was justified to block George from calling witnesses in his own defense because somehow Waltzer committing past crimes and Waltzer committing crimes while cooperating for the prosecution team, would have been seen as the same by the jury. The three judge panel simply found that Waltzer suffering from “depression and anxiety” was not material.
George petitioned the Supreme Court. Numerous legal authorities from around the country weighed in, in support of George’s claims. This even included over 20 former senior Justice Department officials, insisting that George’s trial was unfair.
Notwithstanding this overwhelming outcry, in late 2015, the Supreme Court declined to take the case.
In 2016, George uncovered a mountain of additional evidence which had not been provided at trial, or during the appeal phase. This made the previous withholding of Waltzer’s psychiatric issues seem minor. The suppression included:
interview statements of Waltzer informing with the FBI in 2006 and 2007, during the period of the alleged conspiracy with George. [Exhibit A];
interview statements from the period Waltzer was proffering with the US Attorney`s Office, including undocumented instructions and meetings he was having with the prosecution team. [Exhibit B];
interview statements of Waltzer attempting to implicate an innocent person--the "Farber" report. [Exhibit C];
Sentencing transcript for James Hall, exhibiting records of Waltzer failing to record calls and other alleged misconduct. [Exhibit D];
Sentencing transcript for Christian Penta, demonstrating that Waltzer lied to the US Attorney’s Office from the outset about targets. [Exhibit E];
Once this withheld evidence was cross-referenced with Waltzer’s trial testimony, it became clear that he had lied over and over again at the trial in order to falsely convict George.
These falsities included:
(1) Waltzer lied that he had no contacts with the Government between June 2006 to June 2007; "a year gap";
(2) Waltzer lied that he took his undercover instructions "solely" from his FBI handlers, concealing the AUSAs role;
(3) Waltzer lied that the US Government instructed him to bait Georgiou with "legitimate" sources of capital from the Middle East;
(4) Waltzer lied when interpreting historical Neutron emails, falsely claiming that he was buying stock to "soak up the float" at Georgiou`s direction, and that he lost money when doing so;
(5) Government witnesses testified falsely that Waltzer would lose leniency under his plea agreement, if he lied in any case;
(6) Waltzer and FBI Agent Joanson testified falsely that Waltzer possessed recording equipment at all times, including, during the alleged "test trade";
(7) The Government presented false evidence for its "Securities Analysis", using "flow of stock" as illegal matched trades;
When these and other issues were raised before the Court, an evidentiary hearing was ordered. George undertook the proceedings himself (pro se). He examined 19 witnesses over seven days of hearings in 2017.
During the seven days of hearings, George was able to extract from Waltzer that he had effectively lied at trial, finally admitting that he was making secret recordings unsupervised by the FBI, that George was chasing him over the $6 million IRS fraud, and that Waltzer had unilaterally acted on his own to entrap George using “legitimate capital from the Middle East” which the FBI had not authorized as part of the sting operation. There were also numerous other Constitutional violations uncovered, demonstrating a denial of due process. Nevertheless, the same District Court judge who sentenced George denied him relief again and even denied him the right to appeal.
By this time, George engaged new counsel and prepared a memorandum summarizing the events. COA Draft. George also provided to his Counsel a memorandum addressing the government’s response.
George’s new counsel filed submissions to the Court of Appeals to gain the right to appeal.
Incredibly, after hundreds of pages of briefing by both sides, the Court of Appeals denied George the right to appeal with a single paragraph. This was authored by Circuit Judge Patty Shwartz, who is believed to have never allowed a defendant to appeal from habeas denial. See past denials. To understand the extreme nature of this denial, one needs to appreciate the standard George had to meet in order to earn the right to appeal. All he had to demonstrate was that other judges could “debate” whether material evidence was withheld from him at trial and whether Waltzer lied. Clearly, the Courts are trying to close this case.
While all of George’s criminal proceedings were ongoing, in 2017 the Supreme Court made new law which held that defendants who did not actually receive proceeds of crime could not be held financially liable for forfeiture. These were precisely George’s circumstances. This new law rendered the $26 million forfeiture order against George illegal. Nevertheless, the same District Court and the same Court of Appeals denied George relief. In a recent petition to the Supreme Court to overturn George’s forfeiture order, the North American Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (NACDL) called the freezing of George’s family’s money a prosecutorial “theft”. Once again, the Supreme Court declined George’s petition notwithstanding his forfeiture order is in direct violation of their law.
Finally, George has just petitioned the Supreme Court again, over the Court of Appeals denying him the right to appeal in the criminal case. That matter remains pending. Cert Petition Nov 6 2020
George and his family pray for your help. Please join this petition if you feel the Supreme Court should hear George’s case, or if you feel the new District Court Judge, the Honorable Mitchell Goldberg, should reduce George’s 25-year sentence by granting Compassionate Release so George can return home to his children.