FEDERAL JUDICIAL BRANCH
During 1999, the Public Integrity Section closed four matters involving allegations of corruption affecting the federal judicial branch. As of December 31, 1999, six such matters were pending in the Section. Also during 1999, the Section handled the following cases involving crimes affecting the judicial branch:
United States v. Barfield, Middle District of Florida
Michael A. Barfield, a paralegal and litigation consultant, pled guilty on May 12, 1999, to five felony offenses, including conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury before a federal grand jury, and two separate wire fraud schemes. On October 25, 1999, Barfield was sentenced to ten years in prison, fined $7,500, and ordered to pay $50,500 in restitution.
The conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury convictions stem from Barfield’s role in concocting a false accusation in 1997 against then-United States District Judge Lee P. Gagliardi, now deceased, and Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen A. Haley, in an attempt to disqualify the judge from presiding over a pending criminal case. Barfield hired two private investigators, Deana Scapaccino and Dana Corum, to help carry out the illegal scheme. Barfield, Scapaccino and Corum falsely claimed that the judge and prosecutor met at a restaurant where they discussed details of the pending prosecution and exchanged case-related documents. During the federal grand juryinvestigation triggered by this accusation, Barfield and his coconspirators repeatedly attempted to bolster their false accusation by providing false information to the FBI and false testimony and fabricated documents to the grand jury.
Judge Gagliardi was advised prior to his death that the Justice Department had determined that the charges against him were false. Barfield also pled guilty to two unrelated wire fraud offenses that were committed and uncovered during the course of this investigation. In late 1998 and early 1999, while working for a
Florida attorney, Barfield falsely represented to two convicted criminal defendants that he could secure leniency for them in exchange for substantial monetary payments. After obtaining approximately $50,000 from the defendants’ families, Barfield made preparations to flee the country. He was arrested by the FBI in January 1999 and has been incarcerated since that date.
United States v. Corum
On July 28, 1999, a federal jury convicted Dana H. Corum, a private investigator and former paralegal, of conspiracy, obstructing justice in a pending federal criminal case, obstructing justice in a federal grand jury investigation, and acting as an accessory after the fact to perjury. Corum was indicted on these charges on March 24, 1999. She was sentenced to 78 months in prison on December
1999. Corum was one of two private investigators hired by Barfield to make a false accusation against United States District Judge Gagliardi to disqualify the judge from presiding over a pending criminal case. During a federal grand jury investigation of the allegation, Corum and her coconspirators repeatedly attempted to corroborate the accusation by providing false information to the FBI, false testimony to the grand jury, and fabricated documents in response to a grand jury subpoena.
United States v. Scapaccino
Deana M. Scapaccino, a private investigator, pled guilty on July 13, 1999, to a two-count criminal information charging her with conspiracy to obstruct justice, commit perjury, and provide false statements, and obstruction of justice in a pending federal criminal case. Scapaccino was the other private investigator hired by Barfield to make a false accusation against Judge Gagliardi. Along with her coconspirators, Scapaccino repeatedly provided false information to the FBI and false testimony and fabricated documents to the grand jury. Scapaccino was sentenced to 15 months in prison on October 26, 1999.