The Last Detective - Nardizzi Inc.

Lowell settles wrongful imprisonment suit with Dennis Maher

Lowell settles wrongful imprisonment suit with Dennis Maher

BOSTON –Dennis Maher and his lawyers reached a $160,000 settlement with the city of Lowell for his wrongful conviction for the rape and sexual assault of two women in 1983. He was sentenced to life in prison, but Maher won his freedom in 2003 after DNA tests cleared his name. Maher spent more than 19 years in prison.

The town of Ayer continues a legal battle to dismiss a civil rights case filed by Maher over his wrongful imprisonment. Maher accused Lowell and Ayer police of using improper identification techniques, failing to disclose evidence, failing to investigate, and fabricating evidence.

John Nardizzi has led the investigation into the events surrounding the flawed investigation done in Ayer and Lowell. Another Nardizzi client, the Estate of Kenneth Waters, also has a pending case against Ayer. Kenneth Waters was wrongfully arrested and convicted, and served nineteen years of a life sentence, for the 1980 murder and armed robbery of Katharina Brow. Waters was released from prison following the filing of a nolle prosequi in which the District Attorney acknowledged that new DNA evidence had revealed the blood of an unknown person at the murder scene. The DA did not acknowledge Waters’ innocence.

Waters later died as the result of an accident.

It is over: No retrial for client in Lowell blaze

Client Victor Rosario, who spent over three decades years in prison before convictions for arson and eight counts of murder were overturned, will not be retried according to the District Attorney Marian Ryan. Superior Court Judge Kathe Tuttman overturned Rosario's convictions in 2014, based partly on new forensic science cast doubt on whether the fire was actually arson as well as other factors in our re-investigation of the case.

Mr. Rosario is now married and works as a minister in Dorchester.

The Law and Science of Eyewitness Identification

I summarized some key points for investigators in a piece for
PURSUIT MAGAZINE on the new scientific studies being done in the field of eyewitness identification and memory.

Below are links to case law, scientific studies and law enforcement training guides and videos. Most of this collection was put together by the organizers of the National Symposium on Eyewitness Identification Reform held at Yale Law School, which I was fortunate to attend in July 2016.

- John Nardizzi

Court Cases

Law Enforcement Training Curriculum

Law Enforcement Videos

Model Legislation, Policies and Practices

Related Studies and Articles

FBI reports code names & acronyms & abbreviations

This website of FBI acronyms, code names and abbreviations may be of use if you need to decipher FBI reports.

FBI reports are often generated in connection with civil or criminal litigation. Some of the acronyms and code names can be tough to decipher but they sure are fun. SPECTAR? BLACK BAG JOBS? GHETTO INFORMANT PROGRAM?

And use a VPN because Jedgar's boys are probably running the site anyway…

Severe dysfunction alleged in Suffolk Probate Court

"It was a place for employees to make work disappear,” according to an assessment of the registry released by the Massachusetts Trial Court…The court did release documents that showed a fundamental breakdown in basic management. Employees took breaks at all times of the day and left for lunch when they wanted, the documents allege. Staff were allowed to come in late or leave early. People did not answer phones. Supervisors had signs on their closed doors that read “Do not Disturb.”

Great assets of Bernie Madoff

Rumblings of massive asset searches underway worldwide (investors are not waiting for the feds to conclude work) for accounts linked to the businesses run by Bernie Madoff.

One question bantered about recently by veteran researchers: does
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act cover business accounts? More specifically, are businesses considered "customers" under the act and thus protected by the sort of tactics once used to find assets hidden by scam artists like Madoff? General counsel for one large firm advised me the act does cover business accounts, but others disagree--off the record. No one wants to be the test case.

Due diligence pays for Nardizzi client

In the wake of repeated news of SEC investigations of hedge fund and investment management firms, an investment bank credited an early-stage due diligence report by investigative firm Nardizzi & Assoc. for saving clients from multi-million dollar fraud losses.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a Pearl River, N.Y., investment management firm Westgate Capital Management, LLC and its managing member, James M. Nicholson with operating a large-scale scheme that defrauded hundreds of investors of millions of dollars. The SEC alleges that Westgate solicited investors with false claims of an almost unbroken eight-year string of monthly investment successes.

In the fall of 2007, a New York investment bank had retained Nardizzi & Assoc. to investigate links between Nicholson, Westgate, and other individuals. The report issued by Nardizzi swayed the investment bank away from investing with Nicholson.

The arrest of Nicholson made waves in tony Palm Beach as well, as reported in the Palm Beach Daily News:

“The vigilance of Madoff-wary investors has helped bring about the arrest of another part-time Palm Beach resident, the manager of an unregistered hedge fund accused of swindling an estimated $900 million from clients since 2004.

The FBI on Wednesday arrested James M. Nicholson, 42, owner of a penthouse in the Dunster House condominium complex, on charges of securities fraud and bank fraud. Also on Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a federal complaint against Nicholson and his company, Westgate Capital Management LLC of Pearl River, N.Y., seeking relief for the fraud and an injunction to stop it.

A telephone call to Nicholson's primary residence in Saddle River, N.J., was not returned by press time. A telephone line listed for Nicholson's multi-million dollar Dunster House penthouse was disconnected.”

The investigation into Nicholson began when Westgate investors reacted to alleged Ponzi mastermind Bernard Madoff's $50 billion scheme. When they began to redeem their own investments in different Westgate hedge funds, nearly $5 million in checks bounced.

The SEC released
this statement regarding Westgate Capital Management, LLC and its managing member, James M. Nicholson, who was arrested by the FBI at his New Jersey home.

Jury rejects murder charge, finds teen guilty of manslaughter Jury rejects murder charge, finds teen guilty of manslaughter Jury rejects murder and finds manslaughter charge

Lowell teenager Billeoum Phan, now 16, was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of Samnang Oth, 21, of Chelsea. Phan was the one of the youngest defendants ever in Massachusetts to face a murder charge.

According to police reports, at approximately 11:18 p.m. on August 12, 2006, Lowell Police responded to 40 Royal Street in Lowell for reports of shots fired.

Although the initial investigation determined that a gang-related fight broke out at a birthday party at the Royal Street residence, the defense investigation showed that the police failed to interview dozens of witnesses. Moreover, several witnesses were called by Phan to testify to the terrifying specter of rocks and bottles raining into the first floor apartment, where several young women, including one pregnant woman, sought shelter. The defense argued that Phan was acting in self-defense when he fired the gun and hit Oth.

Defense counsel Jack Cunha represented Phan, with John Nardizzi leading the defense investigation.

The judge sentenced Phan to DYS custody until the age of 21 for the voluntary manslaughter conviction. Then Phan will have a suspended five-year state-prison sentence and probation after his release.

Investigation underway in Navajo Nation Toxic Spill

Last month, the Navajo Nation demanded the federal government pay $162 million to cover damages caused by the Gold King Mine spill. Citing the Federal Tort Claims Act, the nation said the toxic spill turned the San Juan River sickly orange color and continues to disrupt ranchers and farmers in the Native American nation. The toxic spill is believed to contain heavy metals, including arsenic, mercury and lead.

Private investigators are often called upon in these cases to document the damages via extensive witness interviews as well as determine causation. Environmental cases are massive undertakings, with fact-gathering requiring the identification of witnesses at multiple properties over the course of decades. The spill is just the latest affront to the burgeoning Native American environmental movement.

“The spill disrupted the Navajo Nation’s economy and damaged the people and environment in numerous ways,” the nation said in the claim letter. “It fundamentally altered economic, cultural, ceremonial and spiritual practices that support the Navajo way of life.”

The EPA allegedly had documented signs of trouble for many years, but did nothing to prevent the blowout.