The Frank Report is currently investigating the 2018 prosecution of Richard Luthmann for criminal impersonation in New York State.
This publication has raised questions about the appointment of Staten Island Special Prosecutor Eric Nelson.
Nelson’s recent court filing in People v. Luthmann.
Special Prosecutor “Eric Nelson” [composite photo based on witness identification].
In response to Luthmann’s 264-page motion pending in New York State Supreme Court, Nelson confirmed in a sworn affirmation he relied on a disbarred attorney, Perry Reich, as his “legal advisor.”
Luthmann called for New York State Supreme Court Justice Marina C. Mundy to refer Nelson to the Attorney Grievance Committee.
Luthmann alleges Nelson encouraged Judge Ronald Castorina’s potential perjury in a 2018 grand jury proceeding.
Luthmann claims Nelson and Castorina’s alleged perjury, subornation of perjury, and other criminal activities are matters the Court must address.
Luthmann claims that Nelson’s legal consultations with Perry Reich, a disbarred attorney violated the law.
Nelson responded to allegations of wrongdoing:
Regarding his [Luthmann’s] claim that the indictment should be dismissed or the Special District Attorney removed, defendant references an e-mail conversation with Mr. Reich, which merely sought interpretation of decisions posed in a hypothetical setting. This had no effect on the Grand Jury, was not presented to the Grand Jury during the presentation. Defendant’s claim does not rise to an unauthorized practice of law.
Nelson sought disbarred lawyer Reich to guide him on how to avoid communicating to the grand jury that the First Amendment protected Luthmann’s activities.
The Nelson-Reich email of August 12, 2018, was produced as part of Special Prosecutor Nelson’s required disclosure to Luthmann’s Brooklyn lawyers, Arthur Aidala and Mario Romano.
The Nelson-Reich email was sent in August 2018 during the Luthmann grand jury proceedings.
In the email, Nelson asked Reich whether he needed to explain the First Amendment to the grand jury. This suggests Nelson may have been uncertain about how to handle questions about the First Amendment that arose during the proceedings and sought advice from Reich.
There were questions.
GRAND JUROR: Can you state what freedom of speech, what is — the second amendment?
GRAND JURY FOREPERSON: First Amendment.
MR. NELSON: First Amendment
GRAND JUROR: Can you tell us what the whole thing —
MR. NELSON: I’m not going to give a course on freedom of speech.
GRAND JUROR: I can look it up though?
MR. NELSON: You could look it up in terms of what freedom of speech means, but not in the context of this case.
GRAND JUROR: No, just —
MR. NELSON: You have a right to go on the Internet and look at anything as long as it doesn’t pertain to this particular case.
GRAND JUROR: Okay.
Nelson said his email with Reich was about a “hypothetical case.”
Yet Nelson tells Reich about the Luthmann grand jury, writing, “I am also going to include a misdemeanor false reporting an incident and stalking on a candidate.”
Luthmann’s case is the first of its kind in the State of New York.
Nelson’s email to Reich clearly was about Luthmann’s case.
Yet Nelson told Justice Mundy in his papers that the email was about a hypothetical case.
Compounding his issues during the 2018 grand jury in the Luthmann case, it appears Nelson may have lied to the Court in his 2023 response to Luthmann.
Filing a false affirmation with the court is prohibited under New York Penal Law § 175.35:
A person is guilty of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree when…knowing that a written instrument contains a false statement or false information, and with intent to defraud the state or any political subdivision, public authority or public benefit corporation of the state, he or she offers or presents it to a public office, public servant, public authority or public benefit corporation with the knowledge or belief that it will be filed with, registered or recorded in or otherwise become a part of the records of such public office, public servant, public authority or public benefit corporation.
Offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree is a class E felony.
Because Nelson is an attorney, authorized by law to make official affirmations to the courts, Nelson may also be in trouble under New York Penal Law § 175.40 – Issuing a false certificate:
A person is guilty of issuing a false certificate when, being a public servant authorized by law to make or issue official certificates or other official written instruments, and with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another person, he issues such an instrument, or makes the same with intent that it be issued, knowing that it contains a false statement or false information.
Issuing a false certificate is a class E felony.
Did Nelson Present False Evidence and Testimony?
Luthmann claims Nelson presented false evidence and coaxed false testimony in his case.
More Evidence of Judge Castorina’s Potential Perjury In Fake Facebook Case.
Judge Castorina Encouraged Fake Facebook, But Staten Island Swamp Beckoned Alliance With DA McMahon.
On-Point Evidence of Judge Castorina’s Perjury in Grand Jury Proceeding.
In preparation for the grand jury proceedings, Nelson subpoenaed Facebook private messages and posts, Twitter tweets, Verizon tower logs, geolocation, call records, and other evidence.
Nelson billed taxpayers over $700,000, according to records obtained from the NYC Comptroller.
Luthmann claims the records Nelson supposedly “reviewed” and offered as evidence to the grand jury were contradictory.
Luthmann points to the Verizon phone records from August 25, 2017, claiming Castorina’s grand jury testimony was false and Nelson knew:
Ron wasn’t “placating Luthmann” on the [August 25, 2017] call Ron initiated. Ron was in tears they were calling for his resignation as Party Leader. For example, Ron had choice words about Letitia Remauro telling him it must have been a “dark time” for him to have consulted with Luthmann. I told Ron not to worry. I was a warrior. I would take the blows for my friend and my client. I grabbed Sean O’Sullivan, and we got to work.
But don’t take Luthmann’s word for it. Look at the phone records. They don’t lie. The FBI gets warrant applications, arrests, and indictments on less “coordination.” Nelson had the phone records. They contradicted Castorina’s sworn testimony. Both sets of evidence were offered to the grand jury. One set is necessarily false.
Luthmann laid out his proofs, including phone records, in an October 27, 2022, Letter from Luthmann to Castorina.
Nelson led the prosecution, and the grand jury issued an indictment based in part on Castorina’s testimony and Nelson’s presentation.
FR called the Richmond County Supreme Court Criminal Term Clerk’s Office and learned Judge Mundy has not scheduled a court appearance for the motion and will decide “on the papers.”
Recently, Justice Mundy was sworn in as an associate justice of the Appellate Term, Second Judicial District, an Appellate Court in Brooklyn, New York. The panel hears appeals from the criminal, civil, and housing courts in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
Justice Mundy will continue to sit in Staten Island as a Supreme Court Justice.
Will Judge Mundy look askance at Nelson’s communications with Reich, who combined to circumvent explaining the First Amendment to Luthmann’s grand jury?
The Brooklyn Appellate Court said in People v Samuels:
The District Attorney is required to instruct the grand jury on the law with respect to matters before it (see CPL 190.25 ). If the District Attorney fails to instruct the grand jury on a defense that would eliminate a needless or unfounded prosecution, the proceeding is defective, mandating dismissal of the indictment.
Nelson was obligated to be a “legal advisor” to the grand jury and instruct them on the law. Nelson responded, “I’m not going to give a course on Freedom of Speech.”
Nelson failed in his role.
Attorney Grievance Committee Waits For Judge Mundy’s Ruling
Luthmann asked Justice Mundy to refer the matter to attorney disciplinary authorities.
Luthmann filed an Attorney Grievance with the Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts based upon Ronald Castorina and Eric Nelson’s conduct.
The Attorney Grievance Committee responded to Luthmann’s evidence against Nelson. They are waiting to see what Justice Mundy does:
A careful review of your complaint regarding the Richmond County attorney (and its enclosures) reveals that the allegations you raise concerning that attorney’s conduct as a Special District Attorney are similar to the claims you are making in the pending motion before the Supreme Court, Richmond County, in People v. Richard Luthmann, seeking vacatur of your conviction in that matter. It is the practice of the Committee to refrain from investigating complaints under such circumstances.
The Attorney Grievance Committee awaits action prompted by Justice Mundy’s decision on Luthmann’s pending motions.
What will Justice Mundy do?
In People v. Taylor, the New York State Court of Appeals stated that a Supreme Court Justice retains the ability to decide a criminal case with a “fundamental matter” at issue. This rule has applied to situations where there is egregious conduct – i.e., a prosecutor knows the evidence presented in a case is false.
Nelson’s alleged actions are not limited to knowledge of false evidence. Nelson is alleged to be complicit in its fabrication.
Moreover, Nelson utilized a disbarred attorney as his “legal advisor” to assist him in abdicating his proper role as advisor to the grand jury.
Nelson, avoiding instructing the grand jury, who had sincere questions about the First Amendment, instead admonished grand jurors when they began asking questions.
Nelson shepherded and appears to have suborned Judge Castorina’s demonstrably false statements, which Nelson should have known to be false because he billed taxpayers for reading the records.
Nelson represented himself and this case as genuine and forthright.
But a pattern emerges where it can be argued Nelson sold a web of deceit spun with perjury, collusion, lies, and other criminal behavior – and his dishonesty before the Court continues.
Will Justice Mundy order Nelson to appear before her and explain himself? Will she dismiss Nelson as Special Prosecutor? Will she give Luthmann an opportunity to be heard and vacate this conviction larded with criminal misconduct of judges and prosecutors?
Or will Judge Mundy choose not to examine a matter rife with suspicious conduct by those whose positions of power warrant scrutiny of a kind that is not less but should be more than they heaped on Luthmann, an attorney who built some Facebook pages?
A district attorney, his wife a judge, a witless and dishonest special prosecutor, and a state assemblyman, now a judge, all living on an island, which was too small for all of them and Luthmann.
[…] Aidala also represented FR writer Richard Luthmann in Federal and New York State criminal cases. […]
The buzz at Hyatt Street has gotten even louder today. I think this issue is being forced to a head. I do not envy Nelson or Castorina. It has become obvious that they are both in trouble and are being viewed by the powers that be as expendable.
Speculation in the courthouse is that Mundy will bring down her gavel heavily on both their heads.
If Mundy does the right thing, justice is served. If she does the wrong thing, she gets served, and will probably end up on a bingo card or a milk carton. Say what you will about Luthmann, they guy knows how to break balls.
Repeat after me. There are no victims… https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/nxivm-leader-says-die-prison-bulger-epstein-17810579.php
Will someone please end this nightmare?
Taking out Castorina, a sitting judge, requires OCA sanctioning. It’s like the Commission with the mafia. Even with Bugsy Siegel, Meier Lansky tried to save his friend. Will Castorina even have a rabbi in the room?
Will Mundy be asked or be told?
What is Lucien Chalfen at the NYS Office of Court Administration saying?
Who will rid me of this troublesome special prosecutor?
Nelson is going to get disbarred. I know a thing or two about that.
If Judge Mundy does nothing, she becomes an empty black robe. For all intents and purposes, her judicial career is over.
The Knights of Columbus will see Luthmann through no matter what. God is in his side. These other court criminals will burn in hell. 🔥🔥🔥
I bet Mundy will do the right thing. No sense in sacrificing her rising career to save these losers.
And it’s perfectly set up for her to help her career vs hurting it.
Nelson’s treatment of the grand juror is reason enough to toss out the case. He doesn’t even let the person finish his question and clearly does not want anyone to know about the first amendment. This is such a set up.
I’m no fan of Luthmann and find him to be aggressive and over-zealous, but compared to these criminals, he’s a prince.
Agreed – the whole thing stinks
I’m trying to change. Four years in “Gladiator School” does something to your soul. I’m happy Frank Parlato is giving me the opportunity.
I can envision Judge Mundy calling Nelson and Luthman’s Lawyer’s in and ripping Nelson a new sphincter for bringing trash into her courtroom and forcing her into a position where she has to decide between up-holding the law and passing off the powers that be on Staten Island or being the Judge that “goes along to get along.”
Either way, It is clear that Both Neslon and Castorina are toast. Hopefully both of them are smart enough to have already hired Off Island Criminal Defense Lawyers, to cut a deal. The only way I see them not being disbarred and prosecuted is by their “flipping”, on whoever was pulling the strings against Luthmann. Knowing both of them, I don’t believe either is smart enough to plan this out themselves.
With the rumblings I am hearing across Staten Island and throughout Hyatt Street Courthouse, it seem Mr. Parlato has tossed a bolder rather than a pebble into the waters and the ripples are being felt far and wide.
Judge Mundy is now being put into the unenviable position of taking out one of her brethren, in order to show the world that she is a true servant of the law and not just another political poster child.
The Big questions here are
1) Whether or not she has the fortitude to do what needs to be done?
2) How has the Office of Court Administration and the Attorney General’s Office not already stepped in on this?
3) Has Castorina or Nelson already started negotiating with the AG’s office to cut a deal?
I guess we will all find out in the coming weeks.