Criminal Defense Attorney Convicted in Brooklyn Federal Court of Conspiracy and False Statements to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons
Scott Brettschneider, an attorney admitted to practice in the state of New York since 1987, was convicted today by a federal jury in Brooklyn of conspiring to make a false statement and making a false statement. Specifically, Brettschneider wrote a false letter to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to assist an inmate in gaining entry to a substance abuse program in order to fraudulently obtain an early release from prison. The verdict followed a five-day trial before United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon. When sentenced, Brettschneider faces up to five years in prison.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the verdict.
“Brettschneider, a longtime attorney, has been found guilty by a jury of brazenly violating the law he was sworn to uphold by scheming to write a phony letter to help his client get into a drug treatment program and become eligible for early release from prison,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office is committed to protecting the integrity of federal programs for drug abuse treatment, to ensure that help is available for those truly in need and not those merely looking for a get-out-of-jail card.” Mr. Donoghue thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their outstanding assistance on the case.
The evidence at trial proved that between October 2014 and January 2015, Brettschneider, Charles Gallman and Reginald Shabazz-Muhammad conspired to make false statements in a letter to a BOP employee regarding inmate Richard Marshall’s treatment for substance and alcohol abuse in an effort to help Marshall fraudulently gain entry to the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP) at United States Penitentiary Lewisburg in Pennsylvania. In an October 24, 2014 call on Gallman’s phone that was intercepted by law enforcement, Marshall explained to Brettschneider that he needed a letter from a “drug program” to which Brettschneider responded, “alright, alright, we’ll work on that Monday. Ok, I know who to talk to.” Brettschneider, Marshall and Shabazz-Muhammad, who claimed to be the director of program services at Muhammad Mosque No. 7, falsely stated that Marshall had previously been enrolled in the Mosque’s treatment program between 2003 and 2010 to reduce his purported “active drug dependence.” An inmate who is accepted into the RDAP and successfully completes the treatment program is eligible to receive up to a year off his sentence.
Marshall pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements, and was sentenced on October 6, 2018 to three years’ probation and a fine of $1,500. Shabazz-Muhammad pleaded guilty to making false statements, and was sentenced on January 30, 2019 to two years’ probation and a fine of $1,000. Gallman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements and to violating the Travel Act for bribing a witness, and was sentenced on March 20, 2019 to three years’ imprisonment.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime & Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrey Spektor, Lindsay K. Gerdes and Margaret Gandy are in charge of the prosecution.
SCOTT BRETTSCHNEIDER (also known as “Mighty Whitey”)
Mint Hill, North Carolina
Defendants Who Previously Pleaded Guilty and Were Sentenced:
CHARLES GALLMAN (also known as “T.A.”)
Queens, New York
RICHARD MARSHALL (also known as “Love”)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-123 (CBA)