Newark, New Jersey (Issuewire.com) – By Patrick Collis Spartan Investigations
In the 1990’s Stans Sports Memorabilia was under federal investigation based on information provided by an informant. That informant was new to the FBI, not established as credible or reliable with any previous cases. On October 13th 1999 the FBI conducted a raid at Stan Fitzgerald home. The case was dubbed “Operation Bullpen”. Stan Fitzgerald plead guilty to fraud 58 months later after the raid. Questions now are raised by Spartan Investigations as to the validity of the conviction.
Spartan Investigations recently reviewed FBI Operation Bullpen evidence on Stans Sports Memorabilia. The high-profile investigative firm reviewed polygraphs, bank records, attorney documents, exculpatory evidence, and tape recordings from 23 years ago which strongly indicate Stan Fitzgerald was wrongfully convicted and he was a victim, not a co-conspirator, said Patrick Collis.
The investigative firm also verified by banking records that Fitzgerald paid for a New Jersey shore condo with his personal funds, not business funds. The claim set forth by the Government to seize the condo in asset forfeiture was based on the fictitious statement that the funds came from the business revenue.
During those 58 months in-between the raid and indictment Stan Fitzgerald was subjected to threats from the government on a regular basis. Fitzgerald passed two polygraph exams. Two different US attorneys who handled fraud cases declined to prosecute based on the lack of evidence. A Democrat sitting member of congress, at the time, had ordered an internal investigation into the handling of the investigation into Stan Fitzgerald’s case though the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Evidence was acquired by the defense attorneys through computer experts that the FBI was hacking Fitzgerald’s computers reading lawyer client privileged documents. The FBI having failed to get a fraud prosecuting US attorney to take the case after 58 months went to a low-level environmental crimes prosecutor who leveraged the freedom of Fitzgerald’s family over a twenty-thousand-dollar tax bill. An amount of tax due that gets a bill sent in the mail not indictments. After his savings were drained, and his PTS unbearable, Fitzgerald pled guilty to what he was innocent of to prevent his family from suffering and end five years of hell that also inflicted a heart attack damaging his physical health.
According to scientific studies in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law psychological coercion is the primary cause of police-induced false confessions, Fitzgerald was threatened for 58 months.
Secondary causes for false confessions include Mental illness consisting of faulty reality monitoring, distorted perceptions and beliefs, an inability to distinguish fact from fantasy, heightened anxiety, mood disturbances, and a lack of self-control. Fitzgerald was diagnosed with PTS from prior combat situations which basically encompasses all of those symptoms. PTS was neither a defense or mitigating circumstance in the proceedings. The court later ignored it at sentencing.
“Whether or not the FBI believed Fitzgerald to be guilty they did not have the evidence or they would have charged him in 1999. What transpired over the following 58 months was weaponized government to coerce a confession. I have great respect for federal agents and paint no picture with a broad brush, however the handling of this case against Stan Fitzgerald was a miscarriage of justice that led to a wrongful conviction. That is a fact that both sides of the political isle should agree on. As for innocence, what I have seen indicates Fitzgerald was a victim of the fraud not a co-conspirator.