Friday, July 29, 2011

Calvin Barry, Toronto Lawyer

Conrad's son faces own legal problems

By Michele Mandel ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, July 28, 2011 7:53:29 EDT PM

Jonathan Black, son of Conrad Black, sits in prisoner's box while his attorney, Calvin Barry, speaks to Judge Faith Finnistad at Old City Hall court on Thursday. (PAM DAVIES/Illustration)

TORONTO - While Conrad Black is enjoying his last days of freedom before heading back to an American prison, his eldest son is undergoing his own legal troubles right here at home.

Dressed in a smart grey suit and lavender shirt, Jonathan Black looked uncomfortably out of place Thursday in the crowded legal zoo that is Old City Hall.

Home to petty thieves, panhandlers and guilty pleas, busy Courtroom 112 with its roaring air conditioner and assembly line justice is far from the cushy Bay St. environs more typical for the bond trader and former model.

But here he is, nonetheless, on charges of criminal harassment, uttering threats and breach of probation.

I’ve watched his father many times in a Chicago courtroom and though the elder is obviously much older and heavier, the resemblance is striking. With his reddish hair, he’s reminiscent of a more handsome Conan O’Brien and in his younger days, he reportedly graced the cover of European magazines.

But we are far from the glamour world here.

Black, 33, was charged in December 2010 after his former girlfriend complained to Toronto Police that following their split after a one-year “tumultuous” relationship, he would not leave her alone, calling and messaging her repeatedly, once leaving as many as 60 text messages on her phone.

Black was released on bail on condition he not contact her again. Instead, police allege he resumed calling and texting, often to label her new boyfriend a “loser”.

He was charged again in March.

As it turns out, this wasn’t the first time the younger Black was in the chaotic court. Almost exactly three years ago, he was in Old City Hall to plead guilty to ramming his Infiniti into a stopped minivan in the financial district and then driving away.

His criminal charges were bumped down to Highway Traffic Act violations and he was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines for failing to remain at the scene, driving under suspension, and following too closely.

And that wasn’t his first brush with the law, either. According to previous media reports, the then 19-year-old part-time model was given a suspended sentence for making threats to cause bodily harm to a man and a woman.

A few weeks earlier, he had been released on $2,000 bail after being accused of uttering a death threat to another man. The court then ordered him to avoid alcohol, non-prescribed drugs and the company of criminals, and to reside at the Homewood Sanitorium in Guelph. The charge was later withdrawn.

So this wasn’t all new to him then. But before he could get this over with, there was the matter of a Mr. McDonald on the long morning docket.

With the air blowing, spectators in spandex minis loudly talking and the lack of microphone, we didn’t catch his first name. He came into the prisoner’s box with the bright orange jumpsuit of the Don Jail, long unkempt hair and a wide smile. He’d been charged with panhandling yet again in traffic under the Gardiner Expressway. He’d been picked up three days before and was now before Justice Faith Finnestad, ready to plead guilty.

The kindly judge decided to sentence him to the three days he’s already served but warned that he may not get so lucky the next time before a different justice. So she warned him to stay away from weaving among the stopped cars along Lake Shore Blvd. “It is not the crime of the century but it is a nuisance. Motorists are probably complaining and the police probably have other things to do than watch for you under the Gardiner.”

And, she pointed out, he does receive a monthly Ontario Disability check and has shelter staff willing to help him.

“That should be enough,” she told him. “So don’t go back.”

To which the gentleman heartily agreed and court was cleared for the morning break.

By the time we reconvened, the younger Black was nowhere to be seen. He’d obviously witnessed enough and with the agreement of the Crown, was allowed to leave the brief appearance to his lawyer Calvin Barry.

But the younger Black can only avoid the day of reckoning for so long.

He’s scheduled to be back in the same court at the end of August, about the same time his father heads back to prison.
Mariam Makhniashvili’s father apologizes for court outbursts
2011/07/28 | Marcia Chen,

A drawing of Vakhtang Makhniashvili in court on Nov. 5, 2010.

CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

A Toronto man who stabbed three people in the wake of his daughter’s disappearance two years ago apologized for his erratic behaviour at a sentencing hearing earlier this week.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili appeared calmer when the hearing resumed at the College Park courts Thursday morning and said he would co-operate with his sentencing and continue to retain Calvin Barry as his lawyer.

Judge Rebecca Rutherford delayed the proceedings on Tuesday after Makhniashvili twice interrupted to say he was pressured into pleading guilty and wanted to dismiss Barry.

He also said he was sleep-deprived and given drugs against his will.

The Crown had told the court that psychiatrist Julian Gojer could not reach a conclusive diagnosis, but he believes Makhniashvili suffers from a major illness certifiable under the Mental Health Act.

Prosecutors had also recommended he undergo more psychological testing to determine whether he posed a danger to himself or the public.

The hearing will resume on Sept. 9 when the court will check on funding for the psychologist and hear from Makhniashvili’s victims.

In 2010, Makhniashvili was charged with three counts of aggravated assault for attacking his neighbour and a married couple who had acted as his legal surety.

His daughter Mariam was 17 years old when she disappeared on her way to high school in September 2009 and hasn’t been found.

Calvin Barry Interviews

Several mentions of Calvin Barry's high profile cases have appeared on television. This link contains a video that is a compilation of Calvin's appearances on the news.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Calvin Barry Criminal Lawyer

Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I didnt see that coming

"I didn't see that coming" says Calvin Barry of his clients sudden claims that he was forced to plead guilty to stabbing three people.

Yaktang Makhniashivili twice stood and interrupted his sentencing hearing, claiming he had been given drugs against his will and was pressured to plead guilty last May.
His three victims and their families sat in the College Park court room waiting, expecting to read their victim impact statements.

The hearing was put over to Thurs to sort through Mr M's wishes, to continue or hold a hearing to strike the pleas to agg. assault.

The three bizarre stabbings, the charge of attempt murder and now the claim of a forced plea of guilt all against the back-drop of his daughters tragic disappearance.

Originally Posted by marianne boucher at 1:03 PM

Calvin Barry, Toronto

Makhniashvili's dad interrupts hearing to say guilty pleas were pressured

Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press: Tuesday, July 26, 2011

TORONTO - The father of a missing young woman told a Toronto court Tuesday he was pressured and blackmailed into admitting he stabbed three people in two separate incidents last year.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili, 51, made the accusations from the prisoner's box in a series of outbursts that interrupted and eventually cut short his sentencing hearing.

Looking agitated, he stood up several times throughout the hearing to contest his guilty pleas and said he was given drugs without his consent while in custody.

"My plea was made under threat and blackmail," he said while his wife watched, stunned, in the courtroom.

The Georgian immigrant also tried to fire his lawyer, though he later changed his mind.

The Makhniashvili family had only been in Toronto for three months when their daughter Mariam, then 17, disappeared in September 2009.

Police have said there was no evidence to suggest that she had been abducted, that she was depressed or suicidal, that she ran away or that she fell victim to an accident.

Makhniashvili pleaded guilty in May to three counts of aggravated assault. Court was told at the time that he thought the victims were either involved in his daughter's disappearance or behind an unflattering newspaper article.

Justice Rebecca Rutherford broke off Tuesday's hearing to give defence lawyer Calvin Barry time to address his client's concerns and ensure his pleas were "free and voluntary."

"At this stage, I can't see how I can proceed any further," the judge said.

Makhniashvili is due back in court Thursday to explain how he wants to proceed and whether he intends to keep his lawyer.

His apparent change of heart doesn't guarantee the court will strike down his guilty pleas, though that is a possibility, Rutherford said.

It would mean taking the matter to trial, a much lengthier process. Makhniashvili has already expressed his desire to get the case resolved quickly.

Crown attorney John Cisorio argued "the pleas are legitimate pleas" and shouldn't be revoked unless new information takes the case in a different direction.

Barry said he didn't know what prompted Makhniashvili's courtroom declarations, but noted his client has been under constant stress since his daughter vanished.

"It was just spontaneous," he told reporters outside court. "He said what he said and I can't really go any further than that."

Earlier in the day, court heard a psychiatric report found Makhniashvili has a "major mental illness" but couldn't diagnose a specific condition.

The defence said it would seek further evaluation by a psychologist.

Makhniashvili admitted stabbing two people in front of their home last November. The victims had posted his bail after he was charged with stabbing a neighbour at his apartment building in May 2010.

© Copyright (c) Shaw Media Inc.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Calvin Barry Toronto Lawyer Defends Makniashvili

Mariam's dad's bizarre court outburst

By Michele Mandel, QMI Agency

The father of missing teen Mariam Makniashvili disrupted his sentencing hearing Tuesday morning to complain about his treatment in jail.

"I was administered drugs without my consent," Vakhtang Makniashvili said in his surprise outburst before Judge Rebecca Rutherford. "These are things you need to know. "

The judge immediately ordered a recess and asked lawyer Calvin Barry to talk to his client before they resume.

Outside court, Barry said Makniashvili was upset because he had wrongly assumed the sentencing hearing would conclude that day. Instead, the Crown is asking for an additional psychological assessment.

Makhniashvili pleaded guilty in May to two separate stabbings in the months following his daughter's mysterious disappearance two years ago.

The first was inflicted on neighbour Sean Ure on May 7, 2010, and the second on Nov. 4, 2010, against David and Dolores Langer, the couple who had posted his bail.

The victims of his bizarre stabbing spree are expected to deliver victim impact statements when the hearing resumes.

Calvin Barry Defends Makhniashvili

Father of Miriam Makhniashvili to be sentenced Tuesday

2011/07/26 | Marcia Chen,

A drawing of Vakhtang Makhniashvili in court on Nov. 5, 2010. CITYNEWS/Marianne Boucher

The father of a missing Toronto girl will be sentenced on Tuesday for stabbings that happened after she disappeared.

Vakhtang Makhniashvili pleaded guilty in May to three counts of aggravated assault for attacking his neighbour and a married couple who acted as his legal surety.

In the first incident, Makhniashvili stabbed his neighbour Sean Ure during a noise dispute and was later charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, forcible entry and four counts of threatening bodily harm.

A couple Makhniashvili had never met, David Langer and his wife Delores, posted his $50,000 bail.
But Makhniashvili soon learned the Langers were actually private investigators who had taken an interest in his daughter’s disappearance.

He attacked the couple outside their Greenwood Avenue home in November of last year and then turned himself in to police.

Miriam Makhniashvili disappeared in September 2009 on her way to high school and hasn’t been found.

Calvin Barry, Toronto Lawyer

Galea Assistant’s Loyalty May Be Key for Doctor
Published: July 24, 2011

Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor with a burgeoning client list of star American athletes, and Mary Anne Catalano, his loyal assistant, had their assigned roles.

Dr. Anthony Galea pleaded guilty this month to bringing misbranded and unapproved drugs into the United States.

Catalano would drive across the United States border, a stash of human growth hormone and other drugs and medical supplies in her car. Galea, not licensed to practice medicine in the United States, would treat his injured athletes — Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez and the Olympic swimmer Dara Torres, among others — in hotel rooms or their homes.

But before Galea would meet with the athletes, Catalano would pack his medical kit, complete with the drugs involved in that session’s treatment.

“When they took trips to the United States, Ms. Catalano would prepare Dr. Galea’s bag for each visit with an athlete,” Calvin Barry, a lawyer for Catalano, said recently. “She was his full-fledged assistant.”

Now, Catalano, 33, who first worked for Galea when she was 15, will be sentenced Monday in United States District Court in Buffalo. She began cooperating with federal investigators — United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Food and Drug Administration and the F.B.I. — right after being detained at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo on Sept. 14, 2009. Catalano had been driving to Washington with unlawful medical goods in a duffel bag to meet Galea to treat an athlete there.

There is little doubt that the help Catalano has provided to the United States government was instrumental in getting Galea, 51, to plead guilty on July 6 to a felony charge of bringing misbranded and unapproved drugs into the United States. Galea, a father of seven children who has used H.G.H. on himself and who has his practice at the Institute of Sports Medicine Health and Wellness Center in Etobicoke, Ontario, is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

The trove of detailed patient information that Catalano has been privy to should, then, help authorities determine which professional athletes received what drugs and treatments from Galea, and whether those athletes have been truthful with federal investigators over the nearly two years of their inquiry.

Galea’s Denial

Galea has maintained that while he has treated some of his patients with H.G.H., he never used performance-enhancing drugs on the professional athletes who had enlisted him to help them recover from injuries.

Federal prosecutors have made it clear that they want Galea to be more forthcoming. Indeed, following Galea’s plea, prosecutors said that he would be required to cooperate with the government until his sentencing. What they expect from him are details about his treatment of specific athletes in the United States, information that prosecutors say could result in charges against athletes who may have lied to federal investigators or a grand jury.

Galea, who made dozens of trips to the United States from 2007 through September 2009 to care for prominent athletes with a variety of blood treatments, faces a maximum of three years in prison, but he could get significantly less depending on his level of cooperation and other factors.

As a result of Catalano’s help, prosecutors, in court papers this month, asked United States District Judge Richard Arcara to give Catalano only probation and no time behind bars. In June 2010, Catalano pleaded guilty to a felony charge of making false statements to federal officers at the Peace Bridge and faces a potential sentencing range of six to 12 months in prison.

“The cooperation of Mary Anne Catalano was a significant and substantial factor in obtaining a felony conviction against Dr. Anthony Galea,” Assistant United States Attorney Paul Campana wrote in his motion.

Campana also noted that “due in large part to Ms. Catalano’s continued cooperation,” a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment last October, charging Galea with conspiracy, smuggling, two offenses relating to drugs that were misbranded and unapproved and aiding and assisting in the making of false statements to federal officers.

Per her arrangement with Galea, Catalano initially misled border authorities by telling them she was heading to Washington to attend a medical conference with her boss. She told them she was taking Galea’s medical equipment because he did not have time to pack it before leaving Canada. After further questioning, she conceded that her story was not true.

A person briefed on the case said that while Catalano was being detained at the border, Galea was sending her text messages on her cellphone urging her “to perpetuate the deception.” The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because much of the information from the investigation remains confidential.

Athletes Hold Firm

Since Galea’s arrest, representatives of Woods have said he never received performance-enhancing drugs during the treatments he received from Galea, efforts that were meant to speed his recovery from a knee injury. Rodriguez, the third baseman for the Yankees, has told Major League Baseball’s investigators that he did not receive performance-enhancing drugs, either.

Lawyers for Galea and Catalano, for their part, have gone to lengths in the aftermath of Galea’s plea to assert publicly that Woods indeed never received H.G.H. from the doctor.

Asked a week later whether he could also provide details of Galea’s treatment of Rodriguez, the doctor’s Canadian lawyer, Brian Greenspan, said via an e-mail that he could not comment because of “the privacy interests of patients and physician-patient confidentiality.”

Greenspan, who declined to be interviewed, further wrote that he addressed Woods’s situation publicly because Woods’s name had come up during Galea’s plea hearing in court, and he was asked specifically about the golfer afterward by reporters. He would not say, though, whether he had needed or received Woods’s permission to publicly discuss aspects of the golfer’s treatment by Galea.

Catalano, who has worked as an administrative assistant for a different doctor in Toronto since November 2010, was originally accused of smuggling illegal substances across the border from Canada into the United States. Last summer, in exchange for her cooperation, she was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of making false statements to border agents.

Single with no children, Catalano lives with her parents in Toronto. Her father is a retired electrician and her mother works as an accounting clerk. Her one brother is a high school teacher in Burlington, Ontario. Catalano received a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in June 2004. A Roman Catholic, she is a confirmation catechist instructor, as well.

In a sentencing memorandum filed last week, Catalano’s Buffalo lawyer, Rodney Personius, wrote that his client began working in Galea’s office in high school. She stayed in contact with him while she was in college and was hired by him as an assistant after graduating. She became his full-time assistant in October 2007.

‘My Decision to Travel’

Personius said that Catalano took full responsibility for her crime. Given that her relationship with Galea dates to her teenage years, Personius said, “it would be equally fair to find that he improperly took advantage of her dogged loyalty.”

He also quoted Catalano as saying: “I knew he was told that he had been flagged, and it was ultimately my decision to travel by myself. He was someone I admired and looked up to. I trusted him.”

Personius further stated that Catalano acknowledged that she was aware that the substances being used by Galea — specifically H.G.H. and Actovegin, an extract of calf’s blood — were generally not approved for use in the United States and that Galea did not have a license to practice medicine in this country.

In a letter to the judge in the case, Catalano suggested that her ambition might have clouded her judgment.

“For many years my family and friends took a backseat to my work and I’ve tried very hard to rebuild those relationships in the past two years,” she wrote.

“The impact of my decisions made me aware that I need to find a balance between my continued love for the field of sports medicine and what I value the most in life, my family, friends and faith.”

Personius also said that in an effort to understand “how she could so seriously stray from her upbringing and moral values,” Catalano attended counseling sessions between October 2009 and January of last year, largely because “she has been filled with guilt, remorse and trapped on an emotional roller coaster.”

Monday, July 25, 2011

Calvin Barry

Ex-Anthony Galea assistant avoids jail

By Mike Fish
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Mary Anne Catalano, the former lead assistant to a Canadian doctor accused of treating professional athletes with performance-enhancing drugs, avoided jail time as expected and was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation Monday in a U.S. District Court.

Judge Richard Arcara could have imposed a one-year prison term under federal sentencing guidelines, but Catalano, 33, benefited from her cooperation with federal authorities in the subsequent investigation of her former boss, Dr. Anthony Galea.

Federal prosecutors recommended the lesser sentence of probation while describing her cooperation as "a significant and substantial factor in obtaining a felony conviction'' against Galea, a Toronto-based physician who earlier this month pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of bringing unapproved drugs, including human growth hormone and Actovegin, into the United States.

Judge Arcara described the government's recommendation for probation as "very unusual," saying her thorough cooperation made his decision "an easy sentence" to hand down.

"I think I've seen one of these in 10 years," the judge said.

Galea, 51, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 19, at which he could get up to two years in prison. Prior to his legal troubles, Galea had a reputation as a go-to doctor for injured elite athletes, among them golfer Tiger Woods, New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and New York Mets teammates Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes -- none of whom have been linked by authorities to performance-enhancing drugs.

Major League Baseball had two representatives at the sentencing. Daniel Mullin, MLB's vice president of investigations, and assistant Victor Burgos were scheduled to meet with Catalano's attorney, Rod Personius, on Monday afternoon. They requested the meeting with Personius, who described it as a "courtesy call," and said Catalano would not be present.

"She can't cooperate [with MLB investigators] until Galea is sentenced," Personius said. Asked if she later would cooperate, he said, "probably not."

In a recent federal steroids-related case in San Francisco, the U.S. Attorney's Office required convicted steroid dealer Kirk Radomski to cooperate with investigators for baseball's Mitchell report, which eventually brought up the name of Roger Clemens and later led to perjury charges being brought against one of the game's most decorated pitchers. Radomski was on the witness list for proceedings against Clemens earlier this month in Washington, which ended abruptly in a mistrial.
William Hochul Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, offered a starkly different position Monday, saying there is no requirement for either Catalano or Galea to cooperate with an outside investigation.

"We enforce criminal law, period," Hochul told ESPN. "Whether any third party wants to talk [to them], you are always able to. But it is no requirement."

Hochul refused to say whether his office has been contacted by either MLB or NFL officials.
For her part, Catalano pleaded guilty last year to initially making false statements to border agents when stopped entering the country in September 2009. Catalano first became associated with Galea as a 15-year-old helping out in his Toronto office and later joined his practice full-time after earning a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo.

Catalano's defense counsel cast her as being blindly loyal to Galea. "She looked up to him,'' Personius said. "If he told her to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, she would. This was exciting for her.''

At the time of her arrest, Catalano had in her possession a duffle bag with medical supplies and drugs that Galea had asked her to bring across the border because he'd earlier been flagged by authorities. She told agents she was headed to a medical conference in Washington, D.C., where Galea was to speak. In fact, Catalano later told authorities she was to meet Galea in Washington, where he was scheduled to provide medical treatment to a professional athlete.

According to documents later obtained by ESPN, Catalano identified 23 athletes during interviews with U.S. and Canadian authorities whom she said Galea treated in the U.S. during a two-month period in the summer of 2009. Catalano told authorities she witnessed Galea inject a cocktail mixture containing Nutropin (growth hormone) into the injured knee of "at least seven athletes'' while traveling with him in the United States.

Agents also seized her company cell phone and laptop computer, which sources say contained records as well as detailed information on the treatments Galea administered to the pro athletes on trips across the border.

Galea is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States, but Catalano told authorities she accompanied the doctor while he treated athletes in eight major U.S. cities during the summer of 2009. She described Galea as having met athletes in "hotel rooms and their homes'' to provide various medical treatments.

The pro athletes, some of whom had multiple treatments from Galea, have not been identified in court documents, though it is presumed the majority are football and baseball players. Court filings listed at least three unidentified NFL players.

Among the items seized by Canadian authorities during a search of Galea's office were an "NFL file folder,'' "Professional Players Journal'' and "daytimer with football dates.'' Also seized was a "CFL [Canadian Football League] folder.''

Like in other prominent steroid-related cases, federal authorities have not shown an interest in pursuing charges against athletes for their use or treatment with performance-enhancing drugs. But like with Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, authorities may be open to bringing perjury charges if they find through the cooperation received by Catalano and Galea that athletes may have lied to federal investigators or a grand jury.

Galea made dozens of trips to the United States from 2007 through September 2009 to care for prominent athletes with a variety of blood treatments.

Catalano advised authorities that in his trips to the States, Galea typically performed procedures aimed at speeding up the healing process. Some of the treatments involved injections of human growth hormone, banned by major sports, and Actovegin, a derivative of calf's blood not approved for use in the United States.

In a pre-sentencing report filed with the court, Catalano acknowledged packing the substances Galea used to treat athletes when he came across the border and also scheduling the athlete meetings. She often traveled with him and was in attendance when he treated the athletes, which is why MLB investigators already have asked to interview her. NFL officials are expected to make a similar request. It's unlikely she'll cooperate with outside investigations, however, unless pushed by the government.

Catalano's attorneys' presentencing report also included seven letters from family and friends, the orthopaedic surgeon who now employs her, as well as religious leaders, including her Catholic parish priest, Rev. George Galea [no relation to Dr. Galea]. Catalano wrote the judge that her priorities got out of whack when Dr. Galea promoted her to his executive assistant in 2007, saying: "I was now representing Dr. Galea directly to many high profile patients and I felt additional pressure not to disappoint.''

Mike Fish is an investigative reporter for

Calvin Barry- Co-counsel for Mary Anne Catalano

Federal Court Galea assistant avoids prison sentence

By Dan Herbeck
News Staff Reporter

Published: July 25, 2011, 1:16 PM

Aide to sports doctor likely to get probation
Sports doctor admits drug smuggling role
Physician expected to accept plea deal
Updated: July 25, 2011, 1:16 PM

A former employee who helped federal agents break open a smuggling case involving a Toronto doctor who treated world-class athletes was spared from a prison term this afternoon by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Arcara told Mary Anne Catalano, 33, of Toronto, that he did not sentence her to prison time because of the extensive assistance she gave to the FBI and other agencies who investigated her ex-boss, Dr. Anthony Galea.

Arcara sentenced her to one year on probation. He could have sent her to prison for as long as five years.

"This is one of the easiest sentences I ever had to impose," said Arcara, who told Catalano he was impressed by the honest cooperation she gave to federal agents.

"I take full responsibility," a sobbing Catalano told the judge. "I knew what I was doing was illegal, and I'm deeply regretful."

Catalano was arrested on a drug-smuggling charge in September 2009. Last year, she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of making a false statement to investigators.

The Toronto woman was an assistant hired by Galea to smuggle banned substances, including human growth hormone drugs, into the United States so her boss could use them to treat professional athletes.

Federal agents arrested her at Buffalo's Peace Bridge in September 2009, finding Nutropin and other banned substances in her car. She was arrested on smuggling charges. She took a guilty plea to making false statements at the border.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Catalano's cooperation enabled prosecutors to build a case against Galea, who pleaded guilty to a felony drug smuggling charge July 6.

Because of her cooperation, prosecutor Paul J. Campana asked Arcara to give her probation, and Arcara agreed.

Catalano has cooperated with the feds since the day of her arrest, said Rodney O. Personius, a Buffalo defense attorney who represented Catalano with Calvin Barry, a co-counsel from Toronto.

"She made a grave, grave mistake," Personius said. "She's now a convicted felon and will be for the rest of her life."

Galea's patients included some of America's most famous and successful athletes, including golfer Tiger Woods, baseball star Alex Rodriguez, and National Football League stars Takeo Spikes and Jamal Lewis.

None of the athletes has been charged criminally in the probe, and U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. has characterized them as "witnesses, not targets" of the investigation.

Donald Fuhrman, a retired state police investigator who now works for the NFL, sat in the courtroom taking notes during the proceedings. He declined to comment afterward, as did Catalano.

Galea's attorneys have said he treated his patients with human growth hormones, but only with the intent of helping them to heal from injuries. He is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 19.

Buffalo agents from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement worked on the case with the FBI, U.S. Customs & Border Protection and the Food & Drug Administration.

The probe is continuing, Campana told the judge.

Calvin Barry

Canadian sports doc assistant gets probation in NY By BEN DOBBIN Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y.—A Canadian sports doctor's assistant who cooperated with prosecutors on her role in bringing unapproved drugs, including human growth hormone, into the U.S. to treat professional athletes was given probation Monday for lying to border agents about medical supplies she was transporting.
Mary Ann Catalano could have drawn up to a year in prison for making false statements to federal officers, but prosecutors asked a judge to impose probation because of her help.

Catalano worked for Anthony Galea, a healing specialist from Toronto who was sought out by the biggest names in sports, including Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez. Galea pleaded guilty July 6 to bringing mislabeled drugs into the U.S. He could be sentenced in October to up to two years in prison.

Prosecutors said Catalano, 33, initially lied when she was stopped at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo in 2009, but quickly agreed to help investigators.

"This is a very easy sentencing. Ms. Catalano cooperated from the get-go. She admitted everything she did was unlawful," said U.S. District Court Judge Richard Arcara. "The sentence of probation for one year is more than adequate for her crime. I think she's suffered enough."

Catalano wept as she told the judge she took responsibility for lying and "I knew what I did was unlawful."

Defense attorney Rodney Personius said she bankrupted her own ideals because she was infatuated with the charismatic doctor and wanted to win his favor.

Galea, who wasn't licensed to work in the U.S., was accused of treating 20 professional athletes at their homes, hotels and friends' houses from October 2007 to September 2009. Prosecutors have not disclosed the names of athletes who may have gotten banned treatments.

Most of the U.S. charges were dismissed with Galea's plea, and he agreed to cooperate with investigators and disclose the patients' identities and their treatments. They included golfers, professional baseball and football players and others.

Catalano had worked in Galea's office when she was 15, stayed in contact with him through college and went back to work for him at the Institute of Sports Medicine Health and Wellness when she graduated in 2004, Personius said.

As Galea developed a practice involving professional athletes in the U.S., she began accompanying him on trips across the border. She began driving separately and took on the responsibility of transporting the medical equipment and supplies after Galea had trouble with border agents leaving Canada, a court filing said.

She and Galea agreed that if asked by border officers about the supplies, she'd say they were for demonstration purposes at a medical conference.

As part of his U.S. plea agreement, Galea must cooperate with investigators in the future.

Galea admitted he traveled to the U.S. numerous times from 2007 to 2009 to treat professional athletes in Hawaii, Cleveland, New York City, Miami and elsewhere, despite not being licensed to practice in the country. Some of the treatments involved injections of human growth hormone, banned by major sports, and Actovegin, a derivative of calf's blood not approved for use in the U.S.

Prosecutors said some athletes were given intravenous Actovegin drips and platelet-rich plasma therapy, a treatment used to speed healing that involves extracting blood from patients and re-injecting just the plasma.

Woods has said he's been treated by Galea but didn't receive performance-enhancing drugs. The New York Mets' Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran have acknowledged talking to federal authorities during the investigation.

Rodriguez, the New York Yankees' star slugger, told Major League Baseball officials that he didn't receive performance-enhancing drugs from Galea after the doctor told The Associated Press he had prescribed anti-inflammatories for him.

Galea, the former team doctor of the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, also faces charges in Canada.

In October 2009, Canadian authorities charged Galea with selling Actovegin, conspiracy to import an unapproved drug, conspiracy to export a drug and smuggling. That case is still pending.

Read more: Canadian sports doc assistant gets probation in NY - The Denver Post
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