It's Time to Indict Federal Prosecutor Mark Bennett and State Prosecutor Dan Kasaris!
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Tony Viola proved his innocence at a second trial using evidence Prosecutors Mark Bennett and Dan Kasaris claimed didn't exist. Dawn Pasela, the Office Manager of the prosecutor's office, knew Bennett and Kasaris suppressed evidence proving Tony's innocence before his first trial. She gave Tony this evidence before his second trial and offered to testify as a defense witness about misconduct by these prosecutors. Tony proved his innocence AND misconduct by prosecutors at the second trial, but Dawn Pasela never made it to Court. She was found dead in her apartment shortly after her scheduled testimony. Incredibly, no investigation into her death has ever taken place.
Recently, both the Department of Justice and the FBI both admitted making made false statements about evidence, and Tony was released from jail. Perhaps more importantly, the evidence proving Tony's innocence likely exonerates hundreds of other defendants prosecuted by these same prosecutors on similar charges. Prosecutors Bennett and Kasaris have been caught red-handed hiding evidence, using fabricated testimony at trial, "losing" computers seized in televised raids, threatening to prosecute Dawn for testifying in Tony's case and covering up a romantic relationship between Kasaris and government witness Kathryn Clover. Despite all of this, no court has ever looked into the misconduct in Tony's case and Prosecutors Bennett and Kasaris have faced no consequences whatsoever for their illegal activities, In fact, they are continuing to utilize the same tactics to prosecute other citizens. This Petition seeks the public's help in compelling Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman, to suspend these prosecutors, look into Dawn's death (her picture is above), have Bennett and Kasaris properly investigated and re-open old criminal cases where the evidence Tony used at his second trial likely exonerates hundreds of other Americans.
Details about Tony's case are summarized below and can be found at www.FreeTonyViola.com,
Tony Viola was indicted three times and tried twice on identical charges by a multi-jurisdictional mortgage fraud task force. Prosecutors alleged Tony duped banks like JP Morgan into making 'no money down' mortgage loans that the bank didn't permit. Tony was convicted in federal court and sentenced to 12 1/2 years in jail. But from jail, and without an attorney, he proved his innocence at a second trial on the same charges using evidence the Justice Department hid before the first trial. Prosecutors possessed evidence proving Tony's innocence all along but never provided it to the defense. The Prosecutor's Office Manager, Dawn Pasela, gave Tony that evidence before the second trial, where the government's own documents and evidence were used to destroy its case. The evidence that proved Tony's innocence likely proves the innocence of most or all of the 1,300 citizens prosecuted by the Task Force.
Prior to the first trial, federal prosecutor Mark Bennett and state prosecutor Dan Kasaris interviewed bank executives, who said that lender employees were authorized to approve 'no money down' loans and waive underwriting conditions, but both prosecutors lied under oath and in writing, falsely stating no such interviews existed. But Ms. Pasela provided Tony with those interview summaries, called FBI 302 reports. Tony used those 302s at the second trial to confront bank executives with their own statements that banks allowed the loans Tony supposedly tricked them into making. Ms. Pasela also provided lender files and internal spreadsheets that confirmed bank were fully aware borrowers were not making down payments. Since banks knew the loans in Tony's case were no money down and made them anyway, the results of the second trial prove there was no "mortgage fraud," the government's theory is wrong and the evidence suppressed before the first trial was material.
Prior to the first trial, Prosecutors Bennett and Kasaris directed Ms. Pasela, to pose as a graduate student studying criminal justice and working with local defense attorneys on similar cases. Ms. Pasela was directed to record a series of post-indictment conversations with Tony so prosecutors could obtain confidential defense trial strategy information. Ms. Pasela also donated finds towards Tony's legal fees so prosecutors could use her cancelled check to identify the law firm's bank account. Then, the FBI tracked investigative expenses and identified potential defense witnesses -- who were promptly threatened with indictment if they testified for Tony's defense. Additional government misconduct in Tony's case includes undisclosed payments to government informants, the "loss" of computers seized during televised raids, forging Ms. Pasela's name on the evidence log, secret payments by banks to investigator Arvin Clar, the federal government's shifting of evidence proving Tony's innocence from the U.S. Attorney's Office to the Task Force location, then pleading ignorance to evidence it relocated there. Bennett and Kasaris also engaged in witness intimidation after Ms. Pasela offered to testify at Tony's second trial about prosecutorial misconduct. Ms. Pasela was threatened with indictment and federal prison if she appeared in court. Ms. Pasela was found dead in her apartment shortly after her scheduled testimony.
Finally, in 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected the Justice Department's claims that it was not required to search the Task Force location for evidence prior to Tony's first trial and appointed Covington & Burling to represent Tony. Later in 2019, the Justice Department admitted lying about evidence in Tony's case and in early 2020, the FBI also said it made false statements about evidence in Tony's case. Finally, Tony was released from jail but remains on house arrest pending further proceedings.
Tony's investigative team also uncovered a romantic relationship between Prosecutor Kasaris and government witness Kathryn Clover -- a fact confirmed by written statements from a half dozen witnesses. Kasaris also used a private Yahoo E mail account to sent hundreds of e mails to Clover over a six year period professing his 'endless love' for her. He also used taxpayer funds to provide her with undisclosed financial support. To read the Court filings, or for more details about secret tapes, missing computers and romantic e mails, please visit the FreeTonyViola.com Evidence Locker.
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