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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Monday, September 23, 2019

Queens Attorney Sentenced to 30 Months’ Imprisonment for Bribing a Witness in Double Homicide Trial on Long Island

John Scarpa, Jr., a criminal defense attorney, was sentenced today in federal court in Brooklyn to 30 months’ imprisonment and fined $10,000 by United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon for bribing a witness to commit perjury in a double homicide trial in Suffolk County Supreme Court.  Scarpa was convicted following a four-day trial in May 2019.  Scarpa, who will be disbarred, had been practicing law in New York since 1982, and was a prosecutor at three district attorneys’ offices in the metropolitan area before entering private practice in 2003.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the sentence.

 “As a defense attorney and former prosecutor, Scarpa was sworn to uphold the law he so egregiously subverted,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “Scarpa went from practicing law to breaking the law and will now pay a price for his crime.”  Mr. Donoghue thanked the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance during the investigation.

As proven at trial, Scarpa plotted with co-conspirator Charles Gallman to bribe a convicted murderer, Luis Cherry, to testify in support of Scarpa’s client, who was charged with the execution-style murders of two men.  Cherry then falsely testified at trial that he alone committed the second of the two murders, and that Scarpa’s client was innocent.  In exchange for his testimony, Scarpa and Gallman promised to help Cherry with the appeal of his own murder conviction, and to spread word in the prison system that Cherry was not a government informant.   Despite the false testimony, the trial judge found Scarpa’s client guilty of both murders.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Andrey Spektor, Lindsay K. Gerdes and Keith D. Edelman are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Age:  66
Hauppauge, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-123(S-1) (CBA)

Public Corruption
John Marzulli United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated September 23, 2019