District of Columbia Attorney and Investigators Indicted for Alleged Roles in Scheme to Obstruct Justice in Criminal Case
WASHINGTON – A seven-count federal indictment was unsealed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging a Washington, D.C., criminal defense attorney and two criminal investigators for their alleged roles in a scheme to obstruct an ongoing criminal case, including, among other things, manufacturing evidence and tampering with a witness, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Attorney Charles F. Daum, 64, of Arnold, Md., and investigators Daaiyah Pasha, 60, of Washington, D.C., and Iman Pasha, 31, of Springfield, Va., each were charged with one count of conspiring to corruptly influence a juror. Daum was also charged with three counts of influencing a juror, one count of tampering with a witness and two counts of inducing perjury.
According to the indictment, the charges resulted from Daum’s representation of Delante White, who was indicted in March 2008 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia on federal drug trafficking charges following the execution of a search warrant on Feb. 23, 2008, at the home of White’s grandmother. The indictment alleges that after entering his notice of appearance in the case, Daum allegedly devised a plan to obtain and produce false evidence designed to convince the jury that the drugs seized by the police on Feb. 23, 2008, did not belong to White.
According to the indictment, Daum enlisted the help of Daaiyah and Iman Pasha, whom Daum had hired as investigators, and others to help carry out his scheme. Following Daum’s directions, the co-conspirators allegedly obtained duplicates of several items that were seized as evidence during the execution of the search warrant, including a digital scale, a razor blade, plates, an Adidas shoe box and a pair of Gucci boots. Once those items were obtained, Daaiyah and Iman Pasha allegedly made arrangements to take staged photographs of White’s brother depicted with the items, while apparently “cutting” “rock cocaine” in order to make it appear as though the seized drugs actually belonged to the brother. The indictment alleges that Daum later submitted the staged photographs, as well as other fabricated items, as evidence during White’s criminal trial.
The indictment also alleges that Daum attempted to prevent a government witness from appearing at the trial, as well as solicited and presented the perjured testimony of two witnesses, in order to further obstruct and impede the administration of justice.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The defendants face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. Daum faces an additional maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of influencing a juror and tampering with a witness. Daum face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge of subornation of perjury.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Robert A. Spelke and Donnell Turner of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section. The case was investigated by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department.