Andy Powers’ Judge Is Not Having It

If you do a google search for the worst on-screen romantic chemistry, a few couples keep coming up.

  • Katherine Heigl & Seth Rogen in Knocked Up
  • Jessica Alba & Mike Myers in The Love Guru
  • Charlize Theron & Woody Allen in Curse of the Jade Scorpion
  • Julia Roberts & Woody Allen in Everyone Says I Love You
  • Any Woman and Woody Allen
  • Any Man and Woody Allen
  • Any Human and Woody Allen
  • Any Plant and Woody Allen
  • Woody Allen’s Hand and Woody Allen

If what took place at 11 AM on September 6th, 2019, in the US Courthouse in Alexandria Virginia, was a film… Andy Powers, the crooked CEO of Communiclique and his court-appointed public defender, Eugene Gorokhov of Burnham & Gorokhov would be on the top of the list. The bad chemistry was palpable.

For those of you new to the story, let’s make sure you’re up to speed. If you are not familiar, with the Powers case. In 2006, Andy Powers started Communiclique (aka Clique API). In summer 2018, a Commonwealth of Virginia Court found that the company had cheated investors and fined the company in excess of $10 million. Earlier this year a Bankruptcy court in Deleware declared Communiclique bankrupt and found that contrary to the Virginia court order, Powers continued to raise money while lying about customer wins, revenue, and valuation. That bankruptcy court found that Powers had provided fraudulent documents to the court and referred that case to the US Attorney’s office. In an unrelated case, the US Attorney of the Eastern District of Virginia hit powers on 8 charges.

Today’s hearing takes place after months of delay due to Andy Powers toying with the court employing every tactic he can think of to delay the inevitable… a long federally funded thee hots and a cot vacation. Why has it taken so long to get here? At first, Powers’ pleaded poverty and the court had to assign a public defender. Then Powers and his attorney entered into plea negotiations with US Attorney Jack Hanley. I believe that at some point the prosecution realized that Powers had no intention of pleading out and that he was just playing for time. Plea negotiations ended and the court scheduled an arraignment for August 2.

In the first scheduled arraignment, Powers revealed to the court that he planned to hire a private attorney and fire his court-appointed public defender, Eugene Grokhov. Since the judge wanted the attorney that will represent Powers in court to be at the arraignment, he rescheduled the arraignment two weeks later to take place on August 16.  Two weeks later on the 16th, Powers had not procured an attorney and insisted he would have one soon. The judge had enough of Andy’s bullshit and moved forward with the arraignment informing Powers that by he was going to set a trial date here and now and Andy would have to find an attorney that can meet that schedule. Powers assured the judge that his new attorney will be hired in the next week. The judge then read the charges:

  1. Wire fraud, February 17, 2016 – $1,000,0011
  2. Wire fraud, August 8, 2016 – $115,200
  3. Wire fraud, September 6, 2017 – $100,005
  4. Wire fraud, September 1, 2017 – $440,000
  5.  Mail fraud, April 4, 2017
  6. Inducing interstate travel to defraud, November 29, 2016
  7. Unlawful Monetary Transaction, September 21, 2015 – $75,308 to purchase a 2015 GMC Yukon
  8. Unlawful Monetary Transaction, September 25, 2015 – $157,050 to purchase a 2015 BMW i8

According to the US Courts web site, Ninety percent of all defendants plead guilty at this point to avoid going to trial. Powers pleads not guilty to all charges and asked for a jury trial.

The judge then declared the next two steps in the schedule.

  1. September 6, 2019, Case Review Hearing – According to Steven Dwight Hardin, “A case review on case.net does not mean they are reviewing a reduction of charges or dismissal. That would be done internally in the prosecutors’ office. While every Judge differs in how they handle cases generally a case review means the court is seeking the attorneys in the case to update the court on things like discovery or plea negotiations. It might also be to check to see if the defendant has hired an attorney.”
  2. December 16, 2019, 3 -4 Court Hearing – You know, the trial where it will be decided just how long Andy Powers will be wearing orange PJs.

Now that you’re up to speed, let me tell you what happened on September 6th at the Case Review Hearing… the first Case Review Hearing. You see there’s going to be a second one because Power’s has not been able to procure an attorney yet. So he is “stuck,” with his court-appointed attorney. More accurately his public defender is stuck with this scum bag. In defense of Andy’s defense council, Mr. Gorokhov, of the two people at the defense table, only one of them seemed competent and it wasn’t the defendant. Yet, Powers wants another attorney. One who he will pay. Pay? How?

The court is called to order and the admirable, honorable Judge, Rossie D. Alston Jr. Judge Alston is competent, intelligent, and patient. In the multiple cases and times, I’ve had the pleasure to sit in his court, I admired his sense of humor, his judgment, and his no-nonsense approach (I’m not just saying that as a hedge against appearing in front of him as a defendant someday). It appeared that judge Alston, read through Powers’ game. He informed Andy that we are going to court on December 16th and that will happen with his current attorney, with his new attorney or with no attorney. The judge asked Powers’ why he has not been procured an attorney as he promised two weeks ago.

Powers’ explained to the judge that he has identified an attorney but the Communcilique bankruptcy case in Deleware is creating complicated issues. The Communiclique Trustee will not release any cash to Powers (I spoke with someone close to the bankruptcy case and he told me that the Trustee has had no, as in Zero contact with Powers). Andy added, he has friends and business associates who want to give him money to have representation but there are technical issues involving the bankruptcy he has to work out. It is not clear if people gave him money would it belong to Communiclique debtors?

The judge asked Powers who he is planning on hiring and Powers responded with a name that sounded like, “Mark Gerson.” The judge asked if this attorney is a member of the Virginia Bar, and Powers revealed that “Gerson” is located in LA and is not a member of the Virginia Bar. He continued that his LA attorney has arranged for local attorney to sit with “Gerson” on this case.  Got that? Powers who claims he’s broke doesn’t want a local competent attorney provided to him at no charge in favor of an attorney in LA who will have to travel back and forth to Alexandria Virginia for the case and who will require a local attorney to work with him. Judge Alston asked who the local attorney will be. Powers couldn’t recall his name. The judge rolled his eyes.

Check out Eugene Gorokhov of Burnham & Gorokhov. It’s not like he’s chopped liver. He’s a legitimate attorney. He’s up to speed on the case. Why is Powers so hell-bent on hiring an attorney and paying him to get up to speed and travel back and forth between DC and LA and who needs to add the additional expense of another local attorney to sit with him on the defense table just so he can represent Powers? Delay obfuscate and evade! That’s his strategy to stay out of jail.

Judge Alston heard enough. He informed Powers that the trial date will remain December 16. He let Powers know that he will not tolerate a new attorney asking for a delay as he is brought up to speed. The trial date is not going to be moved and if Powers won’t either keep his current attorney or procure an attorney that will agree to the current schedule, the judge will revoke bond and Powers can wait for his trial in jail… where he belongs (the judge didn’t say where he belongs… that was Mr. Cranky).

Alston then said that he is scheduling another Case Review Hearing a week from now, September 13th. Friday the 13th. I’m willing to bet that poor Eugene Gorokhov is going to be there representing Powers.

Court dismissed. Powers runs out of the courtroom and heads for the elevators. Eugene Gorokhov called out to him and asked for a minute. This couple is in trouble. They are as mismatched as any of the worst matched couples on the big screen. Make no mistake… this isn’t Bogart and Becall. This isn’t Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. These two have less chemistry than Hiegle and Rogan. They’re worse than Trump and Clinton.

Yet, any other attorney will have a bad time representing Powers. Powers attorney will likely lose the case. His client will likely, as he has done in the past lie and attempt to defraud the court which could damage an attorney’s standing in the court. And if you’re a private attorney, unless Powers can pay up front.. and this legal bill will be in excess of $150 thousand, you will be stiffed on your fee. Gorokhov has the luxury of being paid by the court… by you and me the taxpayer. At least he won’t get stiffed. Here’s hoping for Eugene’s sake that Friday the 13th is his lucky day and he’s relieved of his duty as an attorney on the Titanic. Decaprio and Winslet… now there waas some pretty good chemistry. Crappy movie but good romantic chemistry.