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U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara–a.k.a “the Sheriff of Wall Street”—is being sued by a law student, Reuters Basil Katz first reported. Benula Bensam, a 25-year-old who just finished her second year at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in Queens, is suing Bharara, a bunch of U.S. Marshals, court security and many others.
She’s suing for “unreasonable search and seizure” claiming the court security illegally kept her phone overnight, according to a 16-page complaint filed on July 10th.
Bensam says she was targeted because she had written several letters to Judge Jed Rakoff.
In the complaint, the law student alleges that on June 4th some U.S. Marshals had the courthouse security keep her flip phone overnight after she refused to answer their questions about three letters she had written to Rakoff.
After writing a fourth letter to the judge, Bensam said she was called up during a morning break and told by the judge to take caution against changing the outcome of the case.
She said she stopped writing the letters and deleted all her online posts on the Gupta trial.
Her lawsuit also asserts that “it is not a crime for a disinterested party to write letters to a Judge on the subject of a trial.”
According to the lawsuit, she claims Bharara factors into all of this because “He oversaw the trial of Rajat K. Gupta and occasionally attended the proceedings. He has advocated the use of intrusive surveillance such as wire taps for the prosecution of his cases. Accordingly, he has no qualms about government command over individuals, opting to ploy large-net tactics than taking precautions.”
She also claims that Bharara “may have instigated the involvement of the U.S. Marshals.”
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