Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg

What Chicanery Is The Federal Government Up To Here?
United States Federal District Court, White Plains

Judge Stephen C. Robinson Presiding

In horse racing, there’s an expression about “betting the chalk” which derives from the old days before the advent of pari-mutuel wagering, the days when so called ‘bookies’ inhabited the tracks and would book your wager on a particular horse, establishing odds and posting them on a slate board, a blackboard, with chalk.

The “chalk” meant the horse that was drawing the most action, the favorite, the one most likely to win, and therefore, carrying the lowest payoff odds, perhaps even money or less. In any event, having the name Chalk hasn’t made the chances of Terrence Chalk, 45, named Business Person Of The Year, and inducted into the Westchester Business Council’s Hall of Fame in February of 2006; then arrested by the federal government and thrown into jail on October 31 of the same year; like a bad Halloween prank, any better that he would get out any time soon.

The Guardian first began reporting Mr. Chalk’s very unusual, indeed, unbelievable odyssey at the hands of the federal government
in its July 5th edition last year. Six months later he continues to be incarcerated in the Westchester County Jail, as a federal prisoner,
charged with Conspiracy To Influence Financial Institutions By Making False Statements On Applications For Loans, Lines of Credit,
and Credit Cards. He was also charged with Credit Card Fraud.

The “unbelievable” aspect of the allegations levelled against him by the United States Attorney’s Office is that the loans were made to his
corporation, were all paid off in compliance with the loan agreements, and the proceeds were used for legitimate corporate purposes with no personal enrichment.

Given the above facts, one might wonder if the Accused, whose business in White Plains, Compulinx, employed as many as 50 persons, has really been legitimately detained, and held, these past 14 months in jail, or whether the United States Attorney’s Office has been the not-so-unwilling agent of a scheme to get, and keep, Terrence Chalk out of circulation, without access to financial or other resources, while his twin brother, Todd, reportedly a D.E.A. agent, closely tied to the FBI, goes about unlawfully confiscating the homes of their aunt, and uncle,
and, most recently, their mother’s in St. Albans, Queens.

Given four unsuccessful attempts, the latest a few weeks ago, to make bail; a $250,000 bond, requiring two co-signers, and $10,000 cash, despite the best efforts of qualified individuals, including the Accused’s mother, each time methodically discouraged and/or rejected by attorneys from the United States Attorney’s Office, it has become increasingly evident that the Government may be engaging in some sort of “shell game”, the object of which is to keep Terrence Chalk out of circulation.

To be perfectly clear, Judge Robinson has, in no way, been a party to that game as he has on each occasion that this reporter has been in Court, made every effort to be as flexible and helpful as possible with regard to enabling Mr. Chalk to meet the required bail criteria.

Inasmuch as Chalk’s business, Compulinx, involved IT, information technology, with enormous amounts of stored data, the discovery thus far released by the Government would seem, at bast, a very small fraction of the data confiscated; suggesting that the overwhelming mass of material might very well tend to be exculpatory, particularly given the total absence of evidence that there was any personal enrichment. Furthermore, there have been no allegations that Defendant Chalk made any effort to destroy any data. On the contrary, it would appear that records were found intact.

Assuming the Government, in exercising their due diligence, did, in fact, copy all of the confiscated data, one must question why
they have chosen to present it so selectively. In September it was agreed in Court that a PC would be made available to the Defendant
for use at the County Jail in order to facilitate Defense’s work with the discovery materials. However, a PC that arrived in October was not
for Mr. Chalk’s use, but rather for some 19 other federal detainees at the County Jail. He first gained access to a PC on December 2.

Additionally, what was needed were mirror images of the hard drives, but only CDs were provided. The Government does not
appear to be acting in good faith. It’s as though the United States Attorney’s Office is playing poker with Chalk and they have a deuce and a seven of different suits in the hole, but Chalk doesn’t get any cards at all.

Terrence Chalk’s attorney, Mayo Bartlett, of White Plains, has attempted, on four separate occasions, to bring forward two qualified individuals with sufficient resources and personal credibility to satisfy the bail requirements. Each attempt has been stifled by Government attorneys; the most recent, just a few weeks ago, because one of the individuals had a traffic violation. Following that episode, Judge Robinson, responding to Attorney Bartlett’s concerns, said, “Give me something to work with.”

Of course, while Terrence Chalk, a man who very successfully operated Compulinx for 16 years until his arrest 14 months ago, continues to remain locked up and out of circulation, his twin brother, Todd, a federal agent, reportedly continues to grab up the houses and assets of the senior members of their family, including their mother Naomi, who has filed a complaint with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for theft of her home by forgery.

The Westchester Guardian continues to monitor this remarkable case closely, particularly in light of the negative implications for the United States Attorney’s Office, as information continues to surface, suggesting that the very agency that 19 months ago called upon the citizens of Westchester to report incidents involving breaches of public trust may be involved in one itself.

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