“Jury hearing ‘Whitey’ Bulger trial reaches verdict: prosecutors”

August 12, 2013

Reuters on August 12, 2013 released the following:

“(Reuters) – The jury hearing the racketeering and murder trial of former mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger reached a verdict on Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said.

Bulger, 83, is on trial for charges including 19 murders he is accused of committing or ordering in the 1970s and 1980s while running the Winter Hill crime gang. The verdict is due to be read at U.S. District Court in Boston later on Monday.”

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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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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.


“Sides in rancorous Whitey Bulger trial make final pitches”

August 5, 2013

CNN on August 5, 2013 released the following:

“By Deborah Feyerick and Kristina Sgueglia, CNN

Boston (CNN) — James “Whitey” Bulger was one of the most “vicious, violent and calculating criminals to ever walk the streets of Boston,” prosecuting attorney Fred Wyshak told the jury Monday as closing arguments began after 35 days of testimony in Bulger’s trial.

Bulger is accused of 19 killings and 13 counts of extortion and money laundering during a 20-year “reign of terror” that defined South Boston from the early ’70s through 1995, when Bulger fled Boston.

Wyshak said Bulger and his cohorts “plotted, they schemed, they robbed they murdered together, they were also informants together.”

Prosecutors contend Bulger was an FBI informant who used protection from rogue agents as he continued his life of crime. Defense attorneys have argued Bulger was not an informant, and that FBI bungling was key in the case.

“If there is one thing you heard during this trial, it’s how secretive that relationship is,” Wyshak said to the jury Monday. “The last thing a criminal wants … is for people to know he’s an informant.”

But he also said that it “doesn’t matter whether or not Bulger is an FBI informant when he put the gun to the head of Arthur Barrett and pulled the trigger.” Arthur “Bucky” Barrett died after being shot in the head in 1983.

“Its not about whether or not the FBI in Boston was a mess,” he said. “… It’s about whether or not the defendant is guilty of crimes charged in the indictment.”

He added, “When he puts a gun in the stomach of Mr. (Michael) Solimando and tells him you own me $400,000, it doesn’t matter if he is an informant or not, it doesn’t matter whether or not the FBI is leaking information to him.”

The defense rested its case Friday with no rebuttal from the government.

During their weeklong defense, Bulger’s lawyers seemed to have three goals:

One: Try to cast doubt on who killed two of the 19 victims, both of them women.

Two: Shift the blame onto the FBI, specifically agents who either did nothing or did too little to prevent several killings.

Three: Convince the jury that Bulger was not an FBI informant, a notion prosecutors called “ludicrous” in light of his FBI informant card and a 700-page file loaded with “tips” on rival gang members.

Each side has three hours to make its final case before the jury decides the fate of the alleged crime boss.

During the trial, jurors heard dramatic testimony from convicted gangsters, bookies, extortion victims, a disgraced FBI supervisor, ex-drug-dealers, retired FBI agents and relatives of people Bulger is accused of killing.

Prosecutors called 63 witnesses. The defense called 10. Former hit man John Martorano testified for both sides for a total of 72 witnesses over 35 days.

Bulger never took the stand despite repeated hints from his lawyers throughout trial he would testify. In fact, Bulger seemed to want to testify. Questioned by Judge Denise Casper, Bulger called his decision a “choice made involuntarily.”

He claimed he had been given immunity for his crimes by the former head of New England’s Organized-Crime Strike Force, Jeremiah O’Sullivan, now deceased.

Bulger, who lost his temper several times during the trial, appeared angry, shaking his finger at the judge and claiming he was “choked off from making an adequate defense.”

“I didn’t get a fair trial. This is a sham. Do what ya’s want with me,” Bulger said.

Families of the victims have been in court every day of the trial. The wife of one of the victims shouted “You’re a coward!”

Patricia Donahue’s husband, a truck driver, was killed in the crossfire of a slaying Bulger allegedly committed. She later explained Bulger had a chance to take the stand and tell the truth.

Bulger’s partner, Steve “The Rifleman” Flemmi, testified as one of the government’s star witnesses, and he said that he saw Bulger strangle the two women. The defense team, however, presented evidence that Flemmi had the greater motive to kill his own girlfriend and his stepdaughter.

The girlfriend, Debra Davis, was about to leave him for another man. The defense recalled Martorano, who testified that Flemmi admitted he “accidentally strangled” the 26-year-old woman.

Martorano joins a laundry list of gangsters gone government witnesses, testifying under immunity after they learned Bulger was an informant for the FBI for nearly two decades.

Flemmi acknowledged he lured Davis to a home but says Bulger strangled her because she was talking too much and had become a liability.

As for Flemmi’s common-law stepdaughter, Deborah Hussey, Bulger’s lawyers presented evidence Flemmi had apparently been sexually abusing the girl for years.

Flemmi also called her, among other things, a “prostitute … doing drugs.” Flemmi says he took her shopping before bringing her to a home where Bulger was waiting. He said Bulger got a perverse high from strangling her.

A number of retired FBI agents and supervisors also took the stand, many testifying that they believed Bulger should have been shut down as an informant because he wasn’t providing any useful information.

The agents said they never pressed the issue because apparently FBI headquarters felt Bulger was useful in taking down the New England Mafia.

There are 18 jurors,12 with six alternates. Eleven are men and seven are women.”

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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.


“Key witness in ‘Whitey’ Bulger gangster trial found dead”

July 18, 2013

USA Today on July 18, 2013 released the following:

By: Kevin Johnson and Doug Stanglin , USA TODAY

“A friend says Stephen Rakes was looking forward to testifying against the South Boston gangster.

A body found near Lincoln, Mass., has been identified as Stephen “Stippo” Rakes, who was to be a key key witness in the trial of notorious South Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Rakes was scheduled to testify that he was forced at gunpoint to turn over his liquor store to Bulger 29 years ago.

A law enforcement official confirming Rakes death to USA TODAY says authorities are investigating that he may have died of natural causes. The body of Rakes, 59, was found Wednesday afternoon.

The official said there is “no obvious sign” that he was murdered. ABC News reported that police told Rakes’ family that the death appeared to be a suicide. No phone or wallet was found on the body.

A close friend of Rakes, Steve Davis, tells ABC News, however, that he would not have killed himself and “was looking forward to taking the stand.” Davis said Rakes had planned to deliver a “big bombshell” on the witness stand.

Rakes has been attending Bulger’s federal racketeering trial in South Boston regularly over the past six weeks.

ABC says that Rakes was a particularly angry and determined victim of Bulger’s gangland tactics.

He was apparently supposed to testify that Bulger, 83, a member of his Winter Hill gang, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, threatened his daughter at gunpoint and forced him to turn over his South Boston liquor store. The building later became Bulger’s headquarters.

Bulger, a much-feared South Boston gangster for decades, fled the city in 1994 ahead of his arrest. He was captured in California two years ago after 16 years on the run.

Bulger has pleaded not guilty to 48 charges, including 19 counts of murder, extortion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, perjury, narcotics distribution, and weapons violations.”

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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.


“Ex-agent testifies to good FBI reviews while taking Bulger bribes”

June 28, 2013

Reuters on June 28, 2013 released the following:

By Richard Valdmanis

“(Reuters) – Now retired FBI agent John Morris testified that he received excellent performance reviews from the bureau in the 1970s and 1980s while he and a colleague accepted cash bribes from members of Boston’s violent Winter Hill Gang and protected them from arrest.

In a Boston court on Friday, a lawyer for accused gang boss James “Whitey” Bulger showed Morris three of his reviews describing him as “excellent” and “exemplary” – part of his questioning aimed at undermining the credibility of FBI evidence at the murder trial of Bulger, the reputed head of Winter Hill.

Once one of the most feared men in Boston, Bulger, 83, is on trial for killing or ordering the murders of 19 people while running extortion and gambling rackets for decades. Bulger, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, evaded capture for 16 years and now faces life imprisonment if convicted by a Boston federal jury.

“I received good reviews,” Morris said on the witness stand, as defense lawyer Henry Brennan showed him a series of documents, including one which said other FBI supervisors looked to Morris for guidance.

The trial, which began June 12, has given the jury a glimpse of an era when machine-gun toting mobsters shot associates who talked too much and buried bodies under bridges in a bloody struggle for control of the criminal underworld.

But it also has shown a dark side of the FBI during that period, when some former agents are suspected of having traded information with Bulger and his gang to help them elude arrest and murder “rats” who spoke to police.

Morris testified on Thursday that he and another ex-FBI agent John Connolly – who cultivated Bulger as an FBI informant – would sometimes invite Bulger and his associate Steven “The Rifleman” Flemmi to dinner, where they would trade information and gifts.

Connolly apparently became so rich on kickbacks that he began wearing jewelry and bought a boat and a second home on Cape Cod, Morris said, adding that he too had accepted at least $5,000 in cash directly from Bulger and provided tips.

“I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do. I felt awful about everything,” he said.

Morris, who now works as a part-time wine consultant, was offered immunity from prosecution in late 1997 in exchange for his testimony in hearings about FBI misconduct.

“I didn’t want to carry that burden anymore,” Morris said.

Bulger cursed at Morris in court on Thursday and called him a liar as the prosecution witness described how Bulger received special treatment for being a government informant.

Bulger denies providing any information to law enforcement officials, contending that he paid them for tips, but offered none of his own.

The gangster’s story has fascinated Boston for decades and inspired the 2006 Academy Award-winning Martin Scorsese film, “The Departed,” in which Jack Nicholson played a character loosely based on Bulger.

Called “Whitey” because he once had white-blond hair, fled Boston after a 1994 tip from Connolly that authorities were preparing to arrest him.

Connolly is serving a 40-year prison term for murder and racketeering.

Bulger’s attorneys have spent much of the past few days attacking the reliability of the FBI’s 700-page informant file on him, which they contend was fabricated by Connolly to provide a cover for his frequent meetings with the gang boss.”

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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.


“Feds: Bulger at center of murder, mayhem in Boston”

June 12, 2013

KSL.com on June 12, 2013 released the following press release:

By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press

“BOSTON (AP) – A federal prosecutor said in opening statements Wednesday at James “Whitey” Bulger’s racketeering trial that the reputed mobster was at the center of “murder and mayhem” in Boston for almost 30 years, while the defense attacked the credibility of the government’s star witnesses.

Prosecutor Brian Kelly told jurors that Bulger headed the violent Winter Hill Gang that “ran amok” in Boston for nearly three decades, killing 19 people, extorting millions from drug dealers and other criminals, and corrupting police and FBI agents.

“At the center of all this murder and mayhem is one man – the defendant in this case, James Bulger,” Kelly said.

Bulger’s lead attorney, J. W. Carney Jr., went after the prosecution’s star witnesses, including hit man John Martorano, who admitted killing 20 people and has agreed to testify against Bulger.

Martorano served 12 years in prison for his crimes, in what Carney called an “extraordinary benefit” for his cooperation with prosecutors.

“The federal government was so desperate to have John Martorano testify … they basically put their hands up in the air and said take anything you want,” Carney said.

Other once-loyal Bulger cohorts who will likely testify against him include Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, Bulger’s former partner, and Kevin Weeks, a former Bulger lieutenant who led authorities to six bodies.

The government plans to show the jury a 700-page file they say shows that Bulger, while committing a long list of crimes, was also working as an FBI informant, providing information on the New England Mob – his gang’s main rivals – and corrupting FBI agents who ignored his crimes.

Kelly says Bulger’s gang succeeded by instilling fear in other criminals and corrupting law enforcement officials who tipped them off when they were being investigated.

“It was part of a strategy they had, and it worked for them,” Kelly said.

Carney denied that the FBI ever tipped off Bulger.

“James Bulger never ever – the evidence will show – was an informant,” Carney said.

Carney acknowledged that Bulger was involved in illegal gambling and drugs but told the jury that Bulger paid law enforcement to protect him from prosecution.

Bulger, now 83, was one of the nation’s most wanted fugitives when he fled Boston in 1994 after receiving a tip from his former FBI handler, John Connolly, that he was about to be indicted. He was finally captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif., where he had been living with his longtime girlfriend in a rent-controlled apartment.

Connolly was convicted of racketeering for warning Bulger and later of second-degree murder for giving information to Bulger that led to the slaying of a Boston businessman in Miami.

Bulger’s lawyers have indicated that they will argue that Connolly fabricated informant reports in Bulger’s lengthy FBI file.

The defense may also present another side of Bulger seen by some residents of South Boston, where he was known for years as a kind of harmless tough guy who gave Thanksgiving dinners to his working-class neighbors.

Prosecutors, however, plan to call one family member of each of the 19 people prosecutors allege were killed by Bulger and his gang. Among the victims were two 26-year-old women who Bulger is accused of strangling.

The trial is expected to last three to four months.”

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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.


U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns will rule “in two to three days” on James “Whitey” Bulger’s trial continuance request

November 1, 2012

Boston Herald on November 1, 2012 released the following:

“Judge makes no decision on Bulger trial delay

By Laurel J. Sweet

The federal judge who’ll preside over the murder trial of accused gangland serial killer James “Whitey” Bulger will announce “in two to three days” whether he’ll grant the defense team’s latest bid to postpone the March spectacle to November 2013.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns took the request under advisement this afternoon following a 15-minute hearing that marked his first appearance in the case since Bulger’s lead public defender J.W. Carney Jr. twice demanded he recuse himself because of his prior service as a federal prosecutor. Stearns has twice refused to step aside.

Carney has also threatened to put Stearns on the witness stand next to the very bench he’ll issue orders from. Carney told Stearns today he has no plans at this time to try and get the case dismissed based on Bulger’s claim that the late U.S. Attorney Jeremiah O’Sullivan gifted him a license to kill and immunity from prosecution for more than a quarter century.

Despite an overflow courtroom no doubt hoping for a shouting match between the two men, they kept their conversation civil.

“I’m very impressed with the attendance,” Stearns quipped.

Carney renewed his contention that he and co-counsel Hank Brennan are overwhelmed by more than 364,000 documents they need to read, take notes from and review with Bulger, 83, in addition to Department of Justice reports they still need to comb through, books about Bulger’s reign of terror they need to read and witnesses they need to interview — all to adequately defend a mobster Carney said “has been demonized for decades.”

The former South Boston crimelord, who was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2011 after 16 years on the lam as the FBI’s Most Wanted domestic terrorist, is charged with the murders of 19 men and women — two of them former girlfriends of his partner in crime Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi.

“We have been working days, nights, weekends and I say sincerely we cannot possibly digest this discovery in time to be prepared for trial,” Carney said. “It is unprecedented in my experience trying hundreds of cases.

“A fair trial before a fair judge does not begin with empanelment of a jury,” he said, “it begins with the defense counsel being allowed to be prepared to try the case.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly patiently assured Stearns that Carney “can handle it.”

“The government is always in favor of a fair trial,” he said. “What we’re not in favor of is delaying trials unnecessarily. This is a cross-examination case for him. This is basically murder and mayhem by our witnesses and his client. He (Carney) wants to litigate things, not resolve them.””

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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.


“Judge in Bulger case refuses to step aside”

October 29, 2012

The Boston Globe on October 29, 2012 released the following:

“Lawyer says he will be called as witness

By Travis Andersen

For the second time in less than four months, the federal judge slated to preside over James “Whitey” Bulger’s criminal trial has denied a request from Bulger’s lawyer to recuse himself from the case.

In a three-page ruling issued on Sunday, US District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns wrote that the latest motion for recusal, which Bulger’s lead attorney filed last week, “raises no new issues of material fact or law.”

“When [Bulger’s] case was randomly assigned to me in 1999, it became my duty to see it through fairly and expeditiously, and that is the duty I will faithfully execute,” Stearns wrote.

Bulger’s lead attorney, J.W. Carney Jr., declined to comment on Sunday.

Carney had written in last week’s motion that Stearns, a former federal prosecutor in Boston, must step aside from the case in part because the lawyer intends to call him as a witness at trial.

In the same motion, Carney argued that Bulger was granted immunity to commit crimes by the late Jeremiah O’Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor who led the New England Organized Crime Strike Force before being appointed interim US attorney in Boston in 1989.

In testimony to Congress in 2002, O’Sullivan, who died in 2009, denied ever protecting Bulger from prosecution for serious crimes.

Carney wrote that Stearns and current FBI director Robert Mueller, both former high-ranking federal prosecutors in the Boston office, did not target Bulger during their tenures, which Carney said presents circumstantial evidence of an immunity agreement.

The FBI has declined to comment on the case.

In Sunday’s ruling, Stearns wrote that there is no connection between the Organized Crime Strike Force and his tenure as chief of the Criminal Division in the US attorney’s office.

“Nor is the court persuaded by defendant’s declaration that he might attempt to summons the undersigned judge” as a witness, Stearns wrote. “As the court has previously pointed out to counsel, a witness is only properly summoned to testify if he or she has something of relevance to say on a material issue.”

The judge also took a swipe at Bulger’s efforts to delay his long-awaited trial, which is currently slated for March. He is charged in a sweeping indictment with participating in 19 murders, among other crimes.

“Defendant undoubtedly prefers not to be tried on the schedule set by the court, or not to be tried at all,” Stearns wrote. “But like [former associates] Kevin Weeks, Kevin O’Neil, Stephen Flemmi, and Michael Flemmi, all of whom have appeared as defendants before me in this case, James Bulger’s case will be adjudicated by the rules of the court, and not the contrary wishes of defendant or defendant’s counsel.”

A hearing on Carney’s separate motion to delay the trial until November is scheduled for Thursday in federal court in Boston.

He has argued that prosecutors have not met their obligation to turn over reams of evidence to the defense team in an organized fashion, which the government lawyers have adamantly denied.”

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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.