JAMES B. COMEY, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that SAID FARRAJ, a paralegal, was sentenced today in Manhattan federal court to 2 years and 6 months in prison in connection with his scheme to sell to opposing counsel a confidential trial plan prepared by Orrick, Harrington & Sutcliffe LLP (“Orrick”), the law firm he was employed by, in a tobacco-related civil litigation titled Falise, et al. v. American Tobacco Co., et al., CV 99-7392 (JBW) (E.D.N.Y.) (“Falise”).
On September 27, 2001, SAID FARRAJ pled guilty before United States District Court Judge VICTOR MARRERO, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, to transport stolen property interstate, and to access a computer without authorization, as well as to substantive charges of interstate transportation of stolen property and unauthorized computer access. On October 3, 2001, YEAZID FARRAJ, the brother of SAID FARRAJ, also pled guilty in Manhattan federal court to a conspiracy charge for his participation in the same scheme.
According to the Indictment, between May 20, 2000, and June 18, 2000, SAID FARRAJ was employed as a paralegal at the New York office of Orrick, which was one of several law firms that represented the plaintiffs in the law firm of Falise litigation, a mass tort case scheduled to go to trial on July 17, 2000, in Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York.
According to the Indictment, in anticipation of the Falise trial, attorneys working for Orrick spent hundreds of hours preparing a trial plan at a cost of several million dollars. The Trial Plan exceeded 400 pages, and included, among other things, trial strategy, deposition excerpts and summaries, and references to anticipated trial exhibits. In his capacity as a paralegal working on the Falise litigation, SAID FARRAJ had access to the Trial Plan.
On June 14, 2000, according to the Indictment, SAID FARRAJ obtained an electronic copy of the Trial Plan by downloading it from the Orrick computer system. Three days later, using the alias “FlyGuyNYt,” SAID FARRAJ transmitted to attorneys for the defendants an e-mail in which he offered to sell the Trial Plan.
Afterwards, according to the Indictment, SAID FARRAJ, negotiated the sale of the Trial Plan with an undercover agent of the FBI who was posing as one of the defense counsel in the Falise litigation (the “Undercover Agent”). Between June and July 2000, according to the Indictment, SAID FARRAJ transmitted to the Undercover Agent various e-mails, in which he agreed to sell the Trial Plan for $2 million and arranged to exchange the Trial Plan for the money.
SAID FARRAJ, 28, is a resident of Staten Island, New York.
Co-defendant YEAZID FARRAJ is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, 2002 at 4:30 p.m., by Judge MARRERO.
Mr. COMEY praised the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Wire Fraud Squad for its outstanding investigation of this case.
Assistant United States Attorneys ROBERT R. STRANG and JOSEPH V. De MARCO are in charge of the prosecution.