Forfeiture Endangers American Rights

Forfeiture Publications

F.E.A.R.-List Bulletin
New Victim Story - Zhadanov, Russian Immigrant/Businessman
Posted by John Paff, 12/25/94

The Zhadanov's are looking for publicity. Please pass the following along to sympathetic journalists.

Eli Zhadanov c/o Interlink 725 Fifth Avenue - 19th Floor New York, NY 10022 212/308-2558 - phone 212/644-0896 - fax

Dear Sir/Madam:

On May 19, 1993, in Brooklyn, New York, federal agents arrested a 68-year-old engineer from Russia and charged him, among other things, with conspiracy to distribute 10 tons of cocaine, The "villain" is my father, a career engineer and owner of a small plastics injection molding factory in New Jersey, who has never seen drugs in his life.

His "crime" is that he accepted an order from a new customer to manufacture small plastic perfume sample bottles which could be found in many retail stores. My father did not cease the production when he was told almost a year later that these bottles are popular with drugs users for contaminant of drugs. He did not feel responsible for the end use of an empty plastic container and perceived this product as being no different than plastic bags or other similar items. His beliefs were confirmed in writing by an attorney to whom he went for a consultation,

Over a period of three years, while the production continued and the unsuspecting engineer turned his attention to more important projects (he owns several recent patents on life saving medical devices), the government was spending millions of dollars, building the case against him and his customers. Prosecutors and their agents went to the extreme in fabricating facts and statements that would fit their "conspiracy" theory. Finally, agents simply lied to the Federal Grand Jury in order to got the indictments. The proof of this criminal and outrageous behavior is evident in facts and statements contained through-out thousand of pages of case documents.

Under the label of "conspiracy," Federal Prosecutors can easily target any U.S. manufacturer or business whose products or services may find illegal uses on the streets. It has become a weapon of choice for the Government to confiscate people's property and fill our courts and jails with scientists, production workers, business executives, bankers and even their attorney ... anyone who has "forfeitable" assets. The Government's stealing of its citizen's property disguised as "drug forfeiture" is now a booming business, and a driving force in prosecutions. For example, in 1993, a New Jersey DEA office with a $500,000 operating budget seized property worth over $12.5 million!

In May of 1993 Sam Zhadanov and his customers were arrested and charged. Initially, Sam's "role" was considered a minor one, but that changed very quickly. Sam was the first to be offered the "deal" to forfeit all his family and business assets and "cooperate" against his customers. His refusal enraged the prosecutors and they went after him with a vengeance, stopping at nothing to secure the "cooperation" of other defendants against him. Prices varied from millions of dollars in unpursued funds to a U.S. citizenship, not to mention lesser sentences. Government seized everything that my parents, both professional engineers, built over 20 years of hard work since arriving from Russia with $300 in 1973: all personal and business bank accounts, real estate property, even their checking account. Paying for food, rent and medical bills became impossible. Proud people, my parents never had to rely on the government's handouts. It was especially humiliating to be at the mercy of despotic bureaucrats with egos as big as the unchecked power given to them by the State.

But that wasn't enough. In order to break my father's resolve, prosecutors openly vowed to destroy what was especially precious to him--his business, which he literally built over 12 years with his own hands. They started a methodical harassment of his remaining business customers and employees, until the plant had to shut down and employees were laid off.

As a result, by Christmas 1993, Sam was facing four codefendant "witnesses" and a possible lifetime without parole sentence. With his business destroyed, all personal accounts and property seized, and continuous threats by the prosecutors against other family members, a heart-broken 68-year-old man finally gave in to his attorney's insistence to sign the plea agreement with prosecutors, Little did he know that the attorney had his own agenda in trying to quickly close the case before prosecutors had a chance to uncover some of his own "ditty laundry" in dealing with legal fees.

The plea agreement was delivered and signed on the corridor wall of the Federal Courthouse literally five minutes before plea reading, without being read or questioned. However, prosecutors did not stop "investigating" and month later discovered the improprieties dealing with the lawyer's handling of legal fees. In a surprise move, prosecutors froze the lawyer's operating accounts and then met with him behind closed doors, The outcome of this meeting was the surprising willingness by prosecutors to release the lawyer's legal fees after sentencing. This proved to be an effective way to remove my father's legal representation during his sentencing.

Left without effective legal representation, my father was set for an easy kill. Prosecutors ignored their promises "not to hurt" Sam at the sentencing, but instead he was delivered the final and most devastating blow. In his speech, the prosecutor blasted my father with false accusations to magnify his role in a so-called conspiracy. He knew that the rebuttal from the defense attorney would not be forthcoming and his victim is left defenseless at his mercy.

American justice has been served. My father, a man who never broke the law in his 68 years; who worked hard all his life and created work for others; who didn't spend one day of his life on welfare or even unemployment; who never took but contributed so much to American society...was sentenced to five years in Federal prison.

It is ironic that this rare breed of idealist who left his homeland and came to the United States in pursuit of political freedom, who worshiped America and what it stands for, became in fact an American political prisoner, the victim to politics of American drug hysteria.

As a result of this case:

My father's last productive years will be spent in Federal prison, subsidized by American taxpayers, instead of
creating jobs and developing life-saving medical products for millions of Americans.

His co-defendant cooperators will be rewarded by the system for lying to encourage others.

The animals who orchestrated this drama will build their careers on the "success of this prosecution," and fill the
growing GULAGs of this country with new victims.

My father's lawyer will eventually get his "hard-earned" pay and will likely compromise the trust of another client.

Politicians will scream for more prisons for violent criminals, only to have prosecutors fill those cells with
citizens like my father, leaving dangerous criminals to rule the streets.

Finally, the System will prevail over the Individual making the American people the ultimate victims of a justice system
that is beginning to resemble the Inquisition.

My father is important to me. I need the help of every person who loves liberty and the protections that our "living" Constitution gives us from a government gone mad. But beyond my father's situation is the reason that he came to America. It is only here that he believed people cannot be buried in silence by a corrupt governmental policy. My father's story is a powerful warning signal to America. Now that our foreign enemies are few and weak, it appears that we have begun a new war, against ourselves. Our government is making war against its best citizens. Against my father. Surely against others. And next time it could be you or your family member.

I appeal to you to step forward, to help expose corruption and get justice for Sam Zhadanov. Every day that goes by is a day of his suffering and my shame as an American.

Please respond soon ... and God bless you.


Eli Zhadanov