Veteran D.C. Defense Attorney Charles F. Daum and Two Investigators Found Guilty of Obstruction of Justice Charges
Veteran District of Columbia defense attorney Charles F. Daum, 66, of Arnold, Md., was found guilty today of one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, three counts of obstruction of justice and two counts of subornation of perjury, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Chief Cathy L. Lanier of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department; and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
Daum’s co-defendants, private investigators Daaiyah Pasha, 62, of Washington, D.C., and Iman Pasha, 32, of Springfield, Va., were also found guilty today on one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.
After a six-week bench trial, Senior U.S District Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued her verdict today. Daum was acquitted on one charge of witness tampering.
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.
“In his zeal to defend his client, Mr. Daum betrayed his profession and obstructed justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “He and his co-conspirators fabricated evidence to submit in his client’s criminal trial, and he further suborned perjury from two defense witnesses. It’s astounding that a lawyer could commit these crimes, which undermine the integrity of our criminal justice system. The court found Mr. Daum guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and he now faces prison time as a result.”
Judge Kessler found beyond a reasonable doubt that Daum, after entering his notice of appearance in the White case, 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. 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 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 made arrangements to take staged photographs of another individual depicted with the items, while apparently “cutting” “rock cocaine” in order to make it appear as though the seized drugs actually belonged to the other individual. Daum later submitted the staged photographs, as well as other fabricated items, as evidence during White’s criminal trial.
Judge Kessler also found that Daum solicited and presented the perjured testimony of two witnesses, to further obstruct and impede the administration of justice.
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 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of obstruction. Daum also faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge of subornation of perjury. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 19, 2012.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Donnell Turner, Darrin L. McCullough and Tritia Yuen of the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The case was investigated by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department, the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.