Queens Criminal Defense Attorney and Three Other Individuals Indicted for Conspiracy and Making False Statements
Defendants Submitted a Letter to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Containing False Statements to Fraudulently Obtain Early Release for an Inmate
A two-count indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging attorney Scott Brettschneider, also known as “Mighty Whitey,” Charles Gallman, also known as “T.A.,” Richard Marshall, also known as “Love,” and Reginald Shabazz-Muhammad, also known as “Reggie,” with conspiring to make false statements and making false statements to the United States Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”). Brettschneider was arrested earlier today and will be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold. Gallman and Marshall were arrested on March 22, 2018 and ordered detained. Shabazz-Muhammad is still at large. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Carol B. Amon.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Richard A. Brown, District Attorney of Queens County, announced the charges.
“The defendants, including a practicing attorney, participated in a scheme to gain a narcotics trafficker early release from prison by falsely informing the Bureau of Prisons that he was a candidate for a drug rehab program,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring that the resources to fight drug addiction go to the people who need them, not the drug dealers who put poison on our streets and who deserve to serve the entirety of their prison sentences.”
“Those charged today allegedly conspired to release an inmate from prison under the auspices that he was eligible to receive treatment from the BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program when, in fact, he was not,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Petitioning to send a known drug dealer back onto our streets before his sentence is served, and providing false documentation to prove he’s eligible for early release, is a reckless prospect that risks the well-being of society as a whole. Drug addiction is a serious issue that deserves the appropriate response from all those involved. We won’t stand for anything less.”
“Integrity is the foundation of our criminal justice system,” stated Queens District Attorney Brown. “These allegations go to the core of that foundation and are prejudicial to the administration of justice. The charges today send a strong message to those who would undermine that integrity that they will be held accountable. No one can be allowed to ‘fix’ any part of a case. I commend our federal partners in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District and the Federal Bureau of Investigation working with my Rackets, Special Victims and District Attorney’s Detective Bureaus for their vigorous pursuit of justice in this matter.”
As alleged in the indictment and detailed in court filings, a federal inmate (Marshall), his defense attorney (Brettschneider) and two other defendants (Gallman and Shabazz-Muhammad) wrote a letter to the BOP, falsely recounting Marshall’s history of substance and alcohol dependence. The letter was signed by Shabazz-Muhammad, purporting to be Marshall’s treatment provider, and was submitted to the BOP on Marshall’s behalf, for Marshall to fraudulently gain entry into the BOP’s Residential Drug Abuse Program (“RDAP”). An inmate who is accepted into and successfully completes the RDAP program is potentially eligible to receive a year off his or her sentence. Shabazz-Muhammad was not Marshall’s treatment provider; he was Brettschneider’s assistant. Intercepted communications over a court-authorized wiretap revealed the defendants talking to Marshall on a smuggled cell phone in prison, discussing what the letter should state to ensure Marshall’s acceptance into the program. Gallman predicted that it would “knock a year off his sentence,” and doubted that the BOP would be “scrutinizing it that much.” As it turned out, the BOP did scrutinize it, and requested that Marshall submit progress reports of his past treatment.
As alleged in court documents, the charges contained in the federal indictment stem from an investigation conducted by the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsay K. Gerdes and Andrey Spektor are in charge of the prosecution.
Queens, New York
Mint Hill, North Carolina
Queens, New York
Charlotte, North Carolina
Queens, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-123 (CBA)