Paul Bergrin, Former Prosecutor Involved In Call Girl Ring, Charged in Witness Murder

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By Javier Lavagnino, Esq. on May 20, 2009 5:15 PM

The fall of federal prosecutor-turned-defense attorney to the stars Paul Bergrin has been swift, and now, hard. A couple of weeks ago he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor conspiracy to promote prostitution in exchange for a relatively lenient sentence involving probation and a fine. That was pretty bad, in and of itself, but it turns out that the serious felonies were just lurking in the wings, the AP reports. Paul Bergrin was charged today with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering among a slew of counts in the indictment against him.

According to the story, the charges would link Bergrin to the killing of an FBI informant (Bergrin has long been suspected of being involved). Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph J. Marra Jr. had this to say:

"A licensed lawyer, a former prosecutor essentially became one of the criminals he represents, supporting, encouraging, indeed directing, a criminal enterprise that engaged in murder and murder conspiracies, drug trafficking and financial fraud," Marra said in the statement. "Bergrin can now expect to feel the full weight of the very legal system he turned on its head with his conduct."

Paul Bergrin reportedly represented "Lil' Kim, Queen Latifah and other rap stars", which kind of makes one wonder why he'd stray such a long way into criminal territory. Indeed, in an earlier interview, Bergrin had argued the allegations regarding the informant's killing were "baseless" and that "he needed to tell the suspect who the informant was in order to judge the man's credibility as a potential witness."

However, it might be harder to explain claims on the charge that Bergrin tried to set up a hit on another witness. Unfortunately for Bergrin, the supposed hit man turned out to be a government informant, authorities said. Worse yet, there reportedly were taped telephone calls in which Bergrin allegedly said, "I got it all figured out ... Put on a ski mask and make it look like a robbery and take all the money out of the house." He might need a high-powered attorney, it sounds like.