Bulger plans to take the stand

August 7, 2012

The Boston Globe on August 7, 2012 released the following:

“He would detail an immunity deal

By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff

James “Whitey” Bulger, once America’s most wanted criminal, will for the first time ­address the charges against him, taking the stand in his own defense in hope of convincing a jury that federal officials once granted him immunity for his many crimes, his lawyer said Monday.

J.W. Carney Jr. announced that plan during a hearing in US District Court in Boston. He said Bulger wants to provide a firsthand account of his relationship with the FBI and the deal he had for working secretly as a government informant.

“He is going to tell the truth, if the judge permits him to,” Carney later told reporters outside the federal courthouse.

Bulger’s testimony could further shed light on one of the darkest eras of the FBI, as the gangster would probably describe the crimes he committed, what the FBI knew of them, and whether he received promises for his cooperation, providing a firsthand, real-life account of the type of underworld events that have become the fodder of books and movies.

Carney said that Bulger, a ­fugitive for more than 16 years until his arrest in June 2011, wants to tell his story directly to jurors at his trial, scheduled for March, rather than bring it ­before US District Court Judge Richard Stearns, who is presiding over the case.

Bulger’s lead attorney has questioned whether Stearns, who was head of the criminal division in the US attorney’s ­office in Boston during part of the time Bulger allegedly committed his crimes, would be able to look at the immunity claim impartially.

“Our client believes that he will get fairer consideration on the issue of immunity from a jury than he will from the person who was the head of the criminal bureau of the United States attorney’s office,” Carney said, adding, “I expect that he will get a fair jury and trust that they will see the truth.”

Bulger, a notorious gangster in Boston, had been secretly working as an FBI informant while allegedly carrying out his crimes. He fled shortly before a federal indictment of him came down in January 1995, after ­being tipped off by his corrupt FBI handler, John Connolly, who is now in prison for his role in a murder linked to Bulger.

Later, hearings in US District Court in Boston exposed Bulger’s inappropriate relationship with the FBI, and he was eventually charged with participating in 19 murders. He was discovered and arrested in ­Santa Monica, Calif. in a rent-controlled apartment he had been sharing with his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, since 1996.

Family members of some of Bulger’s alleged victims said outside the courthouse Monday that Carney is getting desperate in his representation of the ­notorious gangster, and they questioned how Bulger could believe he had a “license to kill.”

But they also said they look forward to his testimony.

“I want to hear what he has to say,” said Patricia Donahue, whose husband, Michael, was an innocent bystander allegedly gunned down by Bulger in 1982 while giving a friend a ride home.

Whether Bulger will be able to raise an immunity defense before jurors remains an open question, according to legal ­analysts. The courts have established, in the case of Bulger’s longtime cohort, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, that a ­defendant cannot claim immunity offered by a rogue FBI agent.

US District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf made that ruling, which was upheld by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, when Flemmi said he and Bulger were granted ­immunity for passing along information incriminating the Mafia.

But Carney has said that Bulger’s deal was different: The 82-year-old gangster asserts the immunity was granted not by the FBI, but from within the US Department of Justice, which has the authority to make ­immunity agreements.

Carney would not identify the law enforcement official he said granted Bulger’s immunity, saying he will do that at trial. But he has indicated in court ­records that he plans to call as witnesses some of the former law enforcement officials who held leadership positions in the US attorney’s office, such as Stearns and William F. Weld, former governor, who was also a US attorney during a part of the time Bulger allegedly committed his crimes.

Carney also said he would introduce evidence that would impeach the credibility of past statements by former and ­deceased law enforcement officials, such as former US attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan.

O’Sullivan was the US attorney who decided against indicting Bulger and Flemmi in a historic horse race-fixing scheme, though about 20 other gangsters, including associates in their Winter Hill gang, were charged and received lengthy prison sentences.

A.J. Manieri, a Providence-based criminal defense lawyer who has followed the Bulger case and others in organized crime, said the assertion of ­immunity seems to be a question of law that Stearns might have to decide before it reaches jurors. Prosecutors will probably argue that Bulger had no deal of immunity for crimes such as murder, and jurors should not be exposed to the assertion. Manieri said that the judge could exclude testimony that would not be relevant to the charges.

But he also said that Carney will want to show that the agreement came not from a rogue FBI agent, but from within the leadership of the Department of Justice. He said Carney could be successful just in having Stearns take up the legal ­issue because it would settle the question of law. “It’s going to be a bloodbath in there,” he said.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

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————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal prosecutors: Defense bid to remove Bulger judge ‘frivolous,’ immunity claim ‘absurd’

July 10, 2012

The Washington Post on July 9, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

BOSTON — Former mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s request to remove the judge at his upcoming trial is “frivolous and unsubstantiated” and should be dismissed, federal prosecutors said Monday in a court filing.

Their motion also calls “absurd” a related claim by Bulger’s attorney that the one-time FBI informant shouldn’t be prosecuted on charges he participated in 19 murders because the government promised him immunity for past and future crimes.

Bulger’s attorney J.W. Carney Jr. filed a motion last month to remove Judge Richard Stearns because he was a top federal prosecutor during a period when Bulger is accused of having committed crimes with impunity. The defense motion argued that the judge would do what he could to shield his former colleagues and could not be impartial. Carney said he might call the judge as a witness.

Carney had said he would file a motion to dismiss the charges against Bulger, who’s 82, because “a representative of the federal government” gave Bulger blanket immunity during the 1970s.

A former Bulger cohort, who also was an FBI informant, used a similar defense, which was rejected by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The cohort is serving a life sentence.

Prosecutors said Bulger “has utterly failed to identify anyone who supposedly promised the defendant immunity from prosecution for committing such crimes as murder. Thus, there is no factual basis for the motion and it should be summarily denied.”

They said the claims in the recusal motion “are little more than unsubstantiated speculation.”

Bulger was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., last year after 16 years on the run. His trial has been set for next March.

His girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who was captured with him, pleaded guilty last March to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy. She admitted she helped Bulger while he was a fugitive, using false identities, accompanying him to medical appointments and picking up his prescriptions. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Prosecutors say Bulger and Greig, who’s in her early 60s, posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and dozens of weapons in their apartment when they were captured.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Evidence Reveals James “Whitey” Bulger’s Secret Life on the Run

June 18, 2012

NBCLosAngeles.com on June 16, 2012 released the following:

“The feds release 1,000 pages of evidence in the case of one of America’s most wanted mobsters

By Jason Kandel

A neighbor said the old man would sit up all night peering through binoculars from the third floor of The Princess Eugenia, a three-story building three blocks from a Santa Monica bluff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

A handwritten sign on the apartment door said “Please Do Not Knock” because he slept during the day.

But nearby residents had no idea that the man was really James “Whitey” Bulger, one of most wanted fugitives in the world.

Hundreds of documents and photos released by federal prosecutors Friday offer a detailed look inside the California apartment where Bulger and his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Greig, hid out during 16 years on the run.

In their Santa Monica apartment, investigators found a weekly planner filled with notes on everyday tasks, including laundry, cleaning, picking up prescriptions and going to doctor’s appointments.

But they also found holes in the walls filled with handguns, rifles and cash.

Bulger, the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang who was also an FBI informant, fled Boston shortly before he was indicted in early 1995 when a former agent told him he was about to be indicted.

He was one of the FBI’s most wanted fugitives until he and longtime girlfriend, Greig, were caught last June in Santa Monica. Bulger was captured 16 years after his run from the law sparked an international manhunt.

He is currently awaiting trial for his alleged role in 19 murders.

Descriptions and photos of the apartment, as well as interviews with people who knew the couple, were among hundreds of documents unsealed by prosecutors Friday, three days after Grieg was sentenced to eight years in prison for helping Bulger during his years as a fugitive.

The documents offer a glimpse into the couple’s life as fugitives.

One photo shows a shelf with a stack of books about gangsters and crime, including several about Bulger himself.

Some of the titles include “G-Men and Gangsters;” “The Untold Story of My Life Inside Whitey Bulger’s Irish Mob,” co-written by Kevin Weeks, Bulger’s former right-hand man; and “A Mob Story” by former Boston Herald reporter Michele McPhee.

But in other parts of the apartment, there are signs of a simple, more pedestrian existence.

The weekly planner contained notes about going to pharmacies — Rite Aid and CVS — and grocery stores, Trader Joe’s and Vons.

Interviews with people who knew them in California — where authorities say they spent most of the 16 years — describe a quiet, older couple who mostly kept to themselves and pretended to be from Chicago.

Joshua Bond, the general manager of the apartment building where they lived, said they were known in the neighborhood as “the old couple that always wore white.”

Bulger, he said, always wore glasses and a hat, and always had a beard.

They called themselves Carol and Charlie Gasko, he said. Bond, who lived next door, said he would sometimes see Bulger through his window sitting up all night with binoculars.

“Bond only ever saw Charlie get mad one time. This was because Bond had startled him. Charlie yelled at him and told him not to startle him again,” a summary of an FBI interview said.

Bond said Bulger gave him several gifts over the years, including a black Stetson cowboy hat, a beard trimmer and workout equipment.

“If Bond had not thought the Gaskos were such a nice old couple, he would have thought that Charlie was trying to get Bond in shape because he (Charlie) was attracted to him (Bond),” the FBI said in its description of the interview.

The photos show holes cut into the apartment walls, where authorities say Bulger hid more than 30 weapons and more than $800,000 in cash.

One photo shows handguns visible inside one hole. Another shows a picture of a crucifix taped to a doorframe above a hole in the wall, where it appears the FBI removed a mirror that was hiding it.

Another shows stacks of cash.

Other photos show the couple’s separate bedrooms. Bulger’s room is cluttered, with an unmade bed, socks strewn on the dresser and crowded shelves. On one of the shelves is a Valentines’ Day card with a picture of a puppy in front of a big red heart. Five pairs of sneakers line the top of a shelf, including four identical white pairs with blue stripes.

Bulger, nicknamed “Whitey” for his shock of bright platinum hair, grew up in a gritty South Boston housing project, and went on to become Boston’s most notorious gangster.

Along with Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, he led the violent Winter Hill Gang, a largely Irish mob that ran loan-sharking, gambling and drug rackets in the Boston area. U.S. Attorney Donald K. Stern said in 2000 that the two were “responsible for a reign of intimidation and murder that spanned 25 years.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Catherine Greig sentenced to 8 years for harboring ‘Whitey’ Bulger

June 12, 2012

Boston Glove on June 12, 2012 released the following:

“Catherine Greig, the girlfriend who spent years on the run with notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, was sentenced today to eight years in prison by a federal judge who said that Greig had aided “someone accused of the most serious crimes imaginable” to evade capture by law enforcement.

“We’re all responsible for what we do,” US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock told Greig at her sentencing hearing. “We all make choices.”

“There has to be a price imposed,” the judge said, “to serve as general deterrence.”

The sentencing closed another chapter in the saga of Bulger, a fearsome figure accused of 19 murders who once roamed the city’s underworld while at the same time being protected as a highly prized FBI informant. His connections with a corrupt FBI agent led to a tipoff that allowed him to flee and remain a fugitive for 16 years, until his arrest, along with Greig, last year. Bulger now faces a trial in the fall.

Woodlock, saying that the case demonstrated “how the criminal justice system can break down,” also fined Greig $150,000 and ordered her to serve three years of supervised release.

Prosecutors, arguing today for a 10-year sentence, say Greig, 61, was the “key actor” in a conspiracy that allowed Bulger to evade law enforcement. Assistant US Attorney Jack Pirozzolo said it would be “wise and reasonable” considering the nature of the case.

“Essentially, the defendant was committing a crime, day after day,” Pirozzolo said in US District Court in Boston. “This is a woman who by choice chose to help a man who has been accused of vicious crimes.”

But defense attorney Kevin Reddington, who has described Greig as a woman who was a victim of her love for Bulger, said she had not committed any crimes and was simply Bulger’s “housemate.” In court filings, he said that she was kind to animals, and never believed that Bulger was a murderer.

The sentencing hearing had included brief but emotionally charged testimony from relatives of some of Bulger’s victims.

Tim Connors, 37, whose father, Edward, was allegedly shot to death by Bulger June 12, 1975 — 37 years ago today — was first to speak. He addressed Greig, saying, “You are as much a criminal as Whitey, and you ought to be handled as such. … You are a cold-hearted criminal.”

Greig appeared to pay close attention what her attorney and prosecutors said — and then to the testimony of the relatives.

For the most part, when the relatives were speaking, Greig looked straight ahead, avoided eye contact, and showed no obvious emotion.

However, when Connors made a reference to the 1984 suicide of her brother, David, Greig’s composure crumpled.

Connors said he would have killed himself, too, if he had a sister like Greig. Greig gasped, then put her hands to her face and mouth – and started to cry. It took her several minutes to regain her composure. In March, Greig said in open court that she had sought psychiatric counseling after her brother shot himself to death.

Greig and Bulger were arrested last June at the Santa Monica apartment where they had been staying since at least 1996. Bulger, facing a racketeering indictment that alleges he took part in a host of murders, was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. He fled the Boston area just before he was about to be charged in an initial indictment in 1994, after being tipped off by his corrupt FBI handler.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Feds request sentence for Bulger’s girlfriend

June 8, 2012

Boston.com on June 7, 2012 released the following:

“Federal prosecutors will ask a judge to sentence the longtime girlfriend of mobster James “Whitey’’ Bulger to more prison time than federal sentencing guidelines recommend for helping him elude authorities for 16 years.

It wasn’t immediately clear Thursday how much prison time prosecutors would request for Catherine Greig, because their sentencing memo was sealed.

Greig faces a maximum 15 years in prison. But prosecutors have indicated she could get as little as 32 months under federal sentencing guidelines.

In a public filing Thursday, prosecutors said they will request a sentence exceeding federal guidelines and also asked for a hearing to present evidence against Greig.

Greig’s lawyer wouldn’t say what he will recommend for a sentence.

The couple was apprehended last June in California. Bulger is awaiting trial for his alleged role in 19 murders.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Plea deal may force Catherine Greig to forfeit intellectual property rights

June 7, 2012

Boston Globe on June 7, 2012 released the following:

“By Travis Andersen

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to order Catherine Greig, the girlfriend of notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, to waive the right to profit from her story, which she agreed to do in March when she pleaded guilty to helping Bulger evade capture for 16 years.

In a Wednesday filing seeking the forfeiture order on Greig’s intellectual property rights, prosecutors also noted that she agreed to waive any claim to property seized from the apartment she shared with Bulger in Santa Monica, Calif., where the couple was apprehended in June 2011.

The FBI found more than $820,000 in cash and 30 loaded guns hidden inside the walls of the apartment after authorities took Bulger and Greig into custody.

Christina Dilorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for US Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, said by e-mail that prosecutors did not seek a forfeiture order in Wednesday’s motion for property seized from the apartment.

Greig agreed in her plea agreement to waive any claim to “any vehicles, currency, or other personal property” seized by the government, according to court records.

Dilorio-Sterling said prosecutors are “filing the motions necessary to effectuate the agreement.”

Greig’s lawyer, Kevin J. Reddington, said Wednesday night that he had not seen the latest motion from prosecutors.

Bulger, 82, is scheduled to face trial in federal court in Boston in November on a sweeping racketeering indictment charging him the murders of 19 people.

Greig, 61, is scheduled to be sentenced on Tuesday in the same courthouse and faces up to 15 years in prison, but family members of some of Bulger’s alleged victims have said prosecutors warned them she could face as little as 32 months under federal sentencing guidelines.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal Prosecutors Say James “Whitey” Bulger’s Alleged Victims Should Address a Federal District Court Judge in Catherine Greig’s Federal Case

April 16, 2012

Boston.com on April 13, 2012 released the following:

“Prosecutors say Bulger victims should address court in Greig’s case

By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff

Federal prosecutors say that the families of James “Whitey” Bulger’s alleged victims should be able to address a federal court judge and describe the pains they suffered at the hands of his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, when she is sentenced in June.

Victims of crimes are allowed to provide impact statements in court proceedings, and prosecutors say that Bulger’s alleged victims are Greig’s victims, as well.

“She knew that law enforcement was actively searching for Bulger so that he could be brought to Boston to face charges,” prosecutors said in court filings. “At a minimum, she should have known that her conduct would cause distress to those families.”

Greig, 61, pleaded guilty in March to helping Bulger remain a fugitive, and for identity theft. She helped him go to a doctor’s office and obtain prescriptions, using fake identification, for instance.

She was with him for most of his 16 years on the lam, and they were arrested together on June 22 last year in Santa Monica, Calif., in the same apartment they had been living in since at least 1998.

Greig is slated to be sentenced June 12, and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of three counts: conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, conspiracy to commit identity theft, and identity theft.

Bulger is slated to go to trial in November.

US District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock had asked prosecutors whether Bulger’s victims would be eligible to address the court in Greig’s case, and prosecutors respond that they are, that they suffered “emotional distress.”

“The defendant helped Bulger avoid capture,” prosecutors said. “By doing so, she took an active part in denying the families of the alleged murder victims an opportunity to have Bulger brought to court to face justice. The emotional harm to those families was real and significant.

“For sixteen years, those families faced the prospect that Bulger would never be found and that the alleged murderer of their loved ones would escape justice.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.