WHO IS JIM COURI: Why was he involved in this Project? Take a Look
(By the way, Jim is not a lawyer)
Jim’s background and life experiences caused him to decide to perceive and aid in the creation of this unique Website. Jim acted as a consultant to SCAMRAIDERS, working for one dollar a year and resigning in 2009, in order to help victims of all forms of scams, corruption, and fraud, by educating and using his life-training and personal ‘messes’ to assist our website. His input showed how to, and what to look for, and how to put a stop to abuse, fraud, tampering and cover-ups. Jim’s goals encompassed unmasking the corrupt, the swindlers, the shady, including the malleable courts, corrupt lawyers, and the compromising of court officers, referees, judges, as well as the corrupting of any others in control of our destiny or our everyday lives. Jim believed ‘scams’ must be exposed and ‘disrobed’ for all to see, thus, SCAMRAIDERS.
Boys From Brooklyn
Born in 1939, Jim lived in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Growing up he observed the political antics surrounding his father. From about age 5 from his home on Shore Road he saw it all. Jim's dad was an important orchestrator of the Kings County Political Machine, then controlled by John R. Crews, the Boss Tweed of the 1940's. Crews ran the town, controlled courts, businesses, even gas rationing during wartime and virtually everything else including all
political and judge appointments. Jim watched and listened to these maneuvers orchestrated by Crews and a kaleidoscope of others. Tom Dewey, Governor of New York; Leonard Hall, Republican National Chairman; L. Judson Morehouse, Republican State Chairman; William O’Dwyer, before, during and after becoming New York City Mayor; dozens of judges; Crews’ ADC Tony Durso;
Police Commissioners; and Marty Epstein,
New York State Liquor Chairman and many others. (These politicos met with Jim's dad at his home 3-4 times a week) Jim's father was soon to be Commissioner of US Customs compliments of President Eisenhower and Crews. When Crews spoke, all listened. Most judges even Mayors were beholden to Crews & Company. “From a court fix to a city contract to help with the Gambinos or Anastasia, Crews was the man to see.” Jim took it all in.
Roy M. Cohn and Pals
In 1957, when Jim was 18 years old, he met and became pals with Roy M. Cohn, at the fabled Stork Club in New York City, run by impresario Sherman Billingsley. Through Billingsley while at the Stork, Jim met and became a friend of Walter Winchell the celebrated columnist who made his night-time office at the Stork Club
while preparing his power-house syndicated daily column for press. Jim often would sit with Winchell in the Cub Room at the Stork and absorb all of the ‘goings on’ and who Winchell was going to ‘pick or pan’. Roy Cohn was already well known as Senator Joe McCarthy's aid and as a prosecutor, and by that time an attributed rival of now New York DA Robert Morgenthau, who still runs an unusually efficient law enforcement office in Manhattan. Roy and Jim remained pals until Roy died. Roy always said, “I don't need to know the case, I need to know the judge.” Jim watched for years Roy dispense ‘brown paper bags’ to many at 60 Centre Street (Courthouse). Roy had more judges in his pocket than Don Corleone the Godfather. Critics of Roy Cohn’s fault him for some of his reported activities, but Jim states that the judges on Roy’s ‘pad’ were not forced to be bought. They wanted the money and dispensed their corrupt ‘justice’ grounded on their larceny and greed and to ‘make their bones’ for the ‘old-boys’ who put them in their robes in the first place. These judges and their ‘sponsors’ all paid homage to Roy at his annual birthday parties held usually in ballrooms in grand hotels in NYC. Jim saw firsthand how ‘malleable’ the New York Courts were by watching and listening to John R. Crews, Roy and others. Roy's
client list spanned from the Gambinos and John Gotti to the rich and famous.
Jim traveled to the Unified New York Courts with Roy on numerous occasions when Roy was to argue clients' motions. Roy, revealed to Jim that, “this group in black robes have the integrity of a cobra farm”. In any event, with great aplomb, Roy entered each
courtroom crowded with other litigants (the ‘brown bag’ was previously in place). To the front of the line Roy strutted, and after greetings from the bailiff, “Good morning Mr. Cohn,” blurted the justice.
When the sucker adversary began to dig in his heels -- as they say, money talks and BS walks --
“No need to argue, I've read the papers, you will get my order in the mail” said the judge and onto the next court Jim and Roy went. Each was the same, except the judge was a different name, all recipients of Roy’s ‘Brown Bags’. Roy had no respect for the Unified Court players because he was able to put them in his pocket and pay for the access. They took his money and when he got sick, they went after the hand that fed them.
Through Roy and friends Jim met Sidney Korshak and Greg Bautzer, both Beverly Hills lawyers. Their M.O. was a west coast version of 'Citizen Cohn' in NYC. Korshak was the legal 'front' for 'the boys' in Vegas and also had many judges in LA in his pocket. What Jim did not learn from Roy, he learned from this guy.
L Judson Morehouse Playboy Club Martin Epstein
By 1960 Jim's dad had become Commissioner of Customs appointed by President Eisenhower, thanks to Johnny Crews. His dad soon formed a business with L. Jud Morehouse, the Republican State Chairman who helped put Nelson Rockefeller into the governorship of New York. They had political connections ‘ad nauseum’; opening doors for the many who needed and paid for “access”, from
Bill Zeckendorf on down. They selected crony Martin Epstein to become State Liquor Authority Chairman with the blessing of Crews. Marty was ‘in like Flynn’. Soon Gay Bars in New York City, which had a ‘lid’ on them, proliferated and were run by Gambino and Genovese who were dancing in the streets thanks to Epstein's new tune.
When Hugh Heffner (Playboy Club) wanted a liquor license for the soon to open Playboy Club in NYC, ‘Epstein to the rescue’.
Epstein went to Jud, and a payoff was made. Enter Frank Hogan, then Manhattan District Attorney who bugged the Morehouse and Jim's dad's office, and opened a case on a “tip”. All were called to the Grand Jury. Later Morehouse was tried and convicted, but before he served nary a day in the pokey, Nelson to the rescue and commuted Morehouse’s sentence, Epstein got off also. Jim watched these acts of abuse of power and position as most courts sat on their hands. Yet again, Jim's father came out pure and clean.
“Boy Wonder of Wall Street” Edward M. Gilbert
During 1975, Jim met Eddie Gilbert through Gilbert’s daughter Robin. Eddie was a cunning, shrewd, yet likable fellow who, according to an analysis by famous lawyer Edward Bennett Williams Esq. who later represented Jim in this matter, said, “Gilbert can hide behind a corkscrew”. Gilbert, aka Edgar Ginsberg, who had previously served time for a prior swindle, had a deal an hour. Gilbert offered one of his ‘deals’ to Jim and Johnny Revson of Revlon, a partner of Jim's at the time in an investment company. Sadly, Eddie had his own plans. While promoting
Conrac, a promising New York Stock Exchange listed Company to Jim and Revson, Gilbert was dumping the shares while artistically and cleverly manipulating the price. After a while, the SEC came calling. Jim went to Milton Gould Esq. of Shea Gould. This law firm was during the 1950’s through the 1980’s was one of the most formidable in New York. Gould saw a clandestine opportunity. Milton made a ‘deal with the devil’, and manipulated to secure Couri's testimony for the SEC, tank Gilbert, and get off the hook a few of his Shea-Gould cronies who were involved in another unrelated swindle. A scheme lawyers still do often: serve up a dope client to get off a bigger fish or even ‘tank’ a client for bigger bucks. Jim's SEC testimony lasting many days, became front page on the Wall Street Journal several times, and was a cornerstone of Gilbert's ultimate persecution by the US Attorney's office in New York. A careful analysis reveals that if it hadn’t been ‘perpetrator Gilbert’, the Government would never have become involved. The case was otherwise a pittance, but the powers at the US Attorney wanted to put Gilbert in the pokey. Why? Who knows? Politics once again? Or maybe because Gilbert was a ‘bad guy’ and a target. Jim retained Lawyer Edward Bennet Williams, and reluctantly became a key Government witness, entered a plea to a matched trade and false statement to a Bank (had he held out, the Prosecutor admitted later, Jim would have been given full Immunity). Jim testified against Gilbert for about 21 days straight in Federal Court SDNY.
Gilbert was convicted on all counts. Jim successfully served a short probationary period and paid a fine of about $40,000. Jim learned how the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Attorneys Office, and the Government functioned, front row. Gould surely sold Jim and Gilbert down the river, and Jim learned a valuable lesson. Don't trust any lawyer and “watch your pockets”. Jim reports that Gilbert was a brilliant, resourceful man who wasted his, Jim’s, and Revson’s talents on Conrac activities. Since the Gilbert Case, or before it, Jim has never been charged with any criminal felony or misdemeanor, whatsoever.
After all of this, by about 1982, Jim confirmed that his then wife Carla was a chronic alcoholic. He also learned while he was seeking custody of his 6 year old daughter, the very US Attorney who Jim aided in the prosecution of Gilbert had recruited his sick wife. “Wired her up” to try and illicit various admissions from Jim. The absurd scheme failed. Jim then persevered and obtained sole custody of his daughter while before JSC Sandra Miller in White Plains, NY Unified Family Court. Jim explains that Judge Miller, now in the Appellate Division in Brooklyn, NY, exhibited a unique, fair and keen understanding; and after JSC Miller ordered about a dozen evaluations by psychiatrists, psychologists, etc. of Jim and his wife and child, the court issued an Order appointing Jim Sole Custodial Parent to care for his daughter. The 6 year old is now 30, has graduated high school, college, and obtained Masters Degrees, all with honors. Jim points out that are a few judges who really try to administer fair and proper justice within a cesspool of injustice, bias, corruption, and greed. Roy Cohn’s description that the Unified Court System is like a cobra farm seems to be right on the money.
US Bankruptcy Judge Howard Schwartzberg
Jim in about 1990 was a large creditor of a Corporate Debtor. Another creditor attempted to buy the Estate of this debtor, which Jim opposed vigorously by oral argument before the Court. Jim is not a lawyer.
Judge Schwartzberg was impressed by Jim’s legal presentations and tenacity and appointed him Trustee in the case (calling the non-lawyer appointment ‘Sole Representative’). Jim learned how to write legal pleadings, litigate and make motion after motion, the foundation of Bankruptcy Litigation. After 4 years Jim secured about twenty fold, for the benefit of the Estate, of what it would have been sold for. This is where Jim learned how, as a non-lawyer, to write pleadings and argue motions, by trial, error, and persistence. Jim reports that Judge Schwartzberg was a superlative Justice, fair and unbiased, who has now passed away and who administered the Texaco bankruptcy case from beginning to end.
Pro se Litigation
Jim learned the ropes in the courthouse and used his tenacity and life-training to pursue his rights in various of his own court cases on his own behalf and as an assignee. He applied his knowledge of experiencing firsthand court antics, manipulation, corruption, and his ability to present facts in court formats. Armed with his storehouse of knowledge and facts spanning from John Crews, Roy Cohn and others from Brooklyn and NYC, Jim began to observe and assemble patterns of conduct perpetuated by lawyers, prosecutors, Courts, judges, referees and others involved in the court systems and in law enforcement. It painted a picture that is not for the faint of heart. As an example, many lawyers deal in intimidation, tampering extortive acts, bribery, abuse and corruption. One lawyer, Jay Itkowitz, casually calls it “Gamesmanship”. The name of the legal game is ‘win at all costs and cheating in ok’.
As certain litigations developed Jim began, because of these experiences, to see curious patterns of bias, manipulation of facts, intimidation, and certain Courts ignoring Statutes, the law, due process, and worse. Many Courts at first perceived Jim as a “lowly pro-se” non-lawyer, who could be pushed around and manipulated, but he endured and watched and built an arsenal of data, of corrupt and suspicious activities, spanning from Westchester to Brooklyn and New York. The Courts and underlying evidence supports that litigants are being abused and manipulated and that the Courts are tainted. If you get to the right guy (an ‘expediter’, a ‘rabbi’, a ‘facilitator’, a ‘Crews’), you own all of them as they are linked together like a chain gang. Remember, as Roy Cohn said, “I need only to know the judge.” Sadly, most judges are stooges for the ‘Machine’-the ‘Old Boys’ who put them in the ‘black robes’, and most have chosen ‘the almighty buck instead of Almighty God’. After a few weeks of Judge School the new appointees are ‘good-to-go’ to their respective Courtrooms ready to follow the orders of the John Crews’s of the day. Honor succumbs to greed and corruption. Jim is also quick to point out that while corruption is rampant in the New York Unified Courts, as he and others have documented for years, there have been and are many judges that are fair, just, and honorable, and who will not partake in these corrupt schemes. Jim confirms that the materials he has assembled comprise New York Unified Courts, and not Federal Courts where Jim has found thorough and correct administration. Regretfully a proper judge in State Courts usually succumbs, or end up like Serpico, the NYC cop who was almost murdered for ‘blowing the lid’ off NYC corruption during the 1950’s.
Value to Law Enforcement
Over the past 30 years, Jim has also helped Law Enforcement and the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service in developing and prosecuting numerous cases. During the 1980s, Jim aided in the development of the New York City Park Violations Bureau scandal, Bernard Sandow, Michael Burnett, Queens Commissioner Mannes and others. Jim uncovered along with others, the corrupt activities of Brooklyn’s Surrogates Court and Judge Michael Feinberg and his “activities” with attorney Seth Rubenstein, and others. Feinberg’s bias and corrupt decisions involving Jim and his Aunt’s Estate, represented by Rubenstein, spawned Jim's interest. Feinberg was also coincidentally observed by Jim buying tens of thousands of dollars (cash) in fancy duds at Bergdorf-Goodman often weekly with a salesman who was a friend of Jim’s. This conduct didn't help Feinberg, a now disbarred Judge, and a documented crook. Jim’s activities also have aided the uncovering of corrupt lawyers engaged in criminal activities, bribery and even murder (i.e., Howard Krantz and Michel Burnet). Jim also uncovered and spawned a major Criminal Internal Revenue investigation into Leona Helmsley’s Carlton House on Madison Avenue and 62nd Street where an illegal gambling casino was actively operating, day and night on the 9th floor of that building; and protected by Helmsley Enterprises’ ‘fancy’, larcenous lawyers, and others being paid off to ‘shut-up’. The CID of The Internal Revenue Service “staked-out” the gambling casino and the Carlton House for months based upon the information provided to them by Jim. Additionally, Jim has been involved in various other investigations and prosecutions involving the corrupt, scam-artists, tax evaders, and other wrongdoers; some are still active.
All of the foregoing forged Jim’s unique insight into human behavior and its’ frailties, even his own. Now age seventy, Jim has lived through tremendous life-lessons. In addition to the above, he started his work career at age 15 with a photography business. At about age 20, in 1959, after working on Wall Street while attending Columbia University at night, Jim formed his own investment and consulting company. Jim was a founder of numerous companies, including during the 1960’s creating and financing International Duty Free Corp and Duty Free International Corp, with his father. During his career Jim has also been the recipient of many accolades, including the Senatorial Medal of Freedom, and the Republican Congressional Committee Medal of Distinction. Moreover, he has assisted in various forms of Tax Reformation. In 2006, Jim attended coordinated classes and became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), for the aid of foster children.
Currently, though fighting health issues, Jim’s focus is keenly directed to “using my life experiences to assist and teach others”, and to “bring to light and to eliminate the loopholes that have allowed corrupt activities, not just in the Courts, but wherever injustice flourishes; and to expose the unethical”.