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Nov 21 - Wayne County VIP jail cell was Web pr0n executive's office

 Nov 21 - Wayne County VIP jail cell was Web pr0n executive's office
26 topic by messy marv stan - 11-21-2012, 12:42 PM - Boxden > BX Daily Bugle - news and headlines


Wayne County VIP jail cell was Web pr0n executive's office | Wayne County | Detroit Free Press | freep.com



For more than 18 months, Francis A. Sharrak was able to manage his multimillion-dollar Internet pr0n and strip club business using just a laptop computer and a telephone.

And he was able to do it all from his secluded office space in downtown Detroit -- a VIP cell at the Wayne County Jail.

Sharrak, 44, of Farmington Hills, was awaiting sentencing on federal tax evasion charges when he was locked up in Wayne County in August 2010. Health problems and numerous requests for delays kept him there until May 2012.

He was serving as his own lawyer and asked for the laptop computer to prepare his arguments for his sentencing, court records show. But he wasn't supposed to have it

"Now, I am the first one ever to have a computer in the history of this jail," Sharrak boasted to a female friend in a recorded phone call from his jail cell in January 2011. Federal prosecutors used the transcribed jail house call to further their argument to a judge that Sharrak should receive a high-end sentence because they said he failed to learn his lesson and repeatedly broke the rules.

"Through his past conduct as proven at trial, and his apparently continuing conduct of the same nature, even while confined, defendant has shown that he simply refuses to abide by laws, rules, restrictions and directives imposed upon him," a$sistant U.S. Attorney Carl Gilmer-Hill wrote in a sentencing memorandum to U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland.

The Sharrak case raises questions about the competency and impartiality of the sheriff's office -- which operates the jail -- particularly claims that some wealthy and politically connected inmates receive better treatment. The Sharrak case is another embarrassing example after a year of scandal in county government in which insiders are accused of enriching themselves and their friends at the taxpayers' expense.

Sheriff officials acknowledge that Sharrak had the computer, but deny any systemic problem, insisting his case was isolated. The office was misled by a single employee, who has since been fired, Undersheriff Daniel Pfannes said. The department also has changed policies to avoid a repeat in the future, though Pfannes declined to detail the policy changes or name the employee.

To talk to the woman, Sharrak called his brother, Michael, who then used a conference call feature to get her on the line. Jail policy prohibits three-way calling for inmates. But, according to one recorded call, Sharrak told his friend: "There is a lot of things I do that you can't do."

Sharrak spent his time in an isolated cell that also has housed high-profile prisoners like ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Ambassador Bridge mogul Manuel (Matty) Moroun.

Pfannes said the decision to place Sharrak in the VIP cell was made "based on the specific needs of his incarceration as determined by the director of jails," Jeriel Heard.

Sharrak was representing himself in court and was entitled to prepare his arguments privately, exercising in essence, attorney-client privilege, Pfannes said.

"We were misled initially by an employee who said there was a court order giving him access to a laptop computer," Pfannes said.

Pfannes said commanders later learned there was no such order. The employee was fired for other reasons.

Between 1997 and 2001, Sharrak made $3.7 million from his business operating and promoting adult Web sites, and from being a consultant to strip clubs, including Platinum Show Girls in Toledo and Spanky's Club in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement announcing his sentence.

According to court filings, Sharrak used the computer and jailhouse telephones to discuss management decisions at the clubs and how to move money around. In one phone call, which federal prosecutors transcribed in court filings, Sharrak said he was denied Internet access:

"Yeah, I tried to get the Internet access, but they were like 'no way... um that ain't happening, that is a breach of security' and all that crap," Sharrak said, according to the transcript.

But in another filing, investigators said they heard Sharrak say on recorded calls that he "had illegitimate access in his jail cell to a privately owned personal computer equipped with Internet access, a camera, photo, video, text and e-mail capabilities, and the ability to communicate by voice and video over the Internet through software programs such as Skype."

The investigator's statements further indicated that, with the possible exception of "Skyping," Sharrak had made use of each of these capabilities of the computer in his cell. The computer included a built-in cell phone, according to court records.

Pfannes said he didn't know if Sharrak actually accessed the Internet from his cell. Federal prosecutors didn't file criminal charges against Sharrak for his jailhouse activities, but they did ask the judge to consider them during sentencing.

On March 8, 2012, the Sheriff's Office seized Sharrak's computer. He filed a motion to get it back, saying he'd had it since August 2010 and it was essential to his defense.

Judge Cleland denied Sharrak's request.

"This court did not authorize possession of any electronic devices in his cell," Cleland wrote in an order.

Cleland's order also noted that Sharrak had said in an October 2010 handwritten filing, that he "has had only the use of bowling/golf pencils" to file his motions.

Other court filings show that Sharrak also made telephone calls to a 14-year-old girl "discussing drugs, s3xual experiences, specific s3xual encounters and his past relationship with her," according to the filing.

Sharrak didn't detail the relationship in the calls, according to the filing.

On April 30, 2012, Cleland sentenced Sharrak to six years in prison and ordered him to pay $4.2 million in restitution. Sharrak is serving his sentence in a federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va


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7 comments for "Nov 21 - Wayne County VIP jail cell was Web pr0n executive's office"


 11-21-2012, 03:31 PMaway - #2
DJ Maximum|M 31 heat pts31

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space
$36,408 | POWERFUL
hell nah dayton, oh
 11-21-2012, 11:15 PMaway - #3
schlegel 2 heat pts

  d 
space
$2,566 | 10826139
Originally Posted by DJ Maximum
hell nah dayton, oh
That's the Detroit area foo. Wayne county Ohio is in northeast Ohio
 11-22-2012, 02:21 AMaway - #4
LexHeyden 11 heat pts11

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$8,400 | POWERFUL
 11-22-2012, 04:46 AMaway - #5
KoolBreeze 4 heat pts

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$3,664 | 20316723
Originally Posted by schlegel
That's the Detroit area foo. Wayne county Ohio is in northeast Ohio

Between 1997 and 2001, Sharrak made $3.7 million from his business operating and promoting adult Web sites, and from being a consultant to strip clubs, including Platinum Show Girls in Toledo and Spanky's Club in Dayton, Ohio, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement announcing his sentence.
 11-22-2012, 09:23 AMaway - #6
btl04 

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$534 | 419305
Originally Posted by schlegel
That's the Detroit area foo. Wayne county Ohio is in northeast Ohio
um Dayton is southeast ohio. 45min north of cincinnati
 11-22-2012, 04:08 PMaway - #7
Chase Bands 8 heat pts

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$762 | 5126485
It obviously says detroit
 11-23-2012, 10:23 AMaway - #8
getyagameup 24 heat pts24

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$4,027 | POWERFUL
he's stupid.....he should've not been on their phones talking about what he could and couldn't do. if the computer had internet, he should've just kept on doing his business instead of making waves. the fine is crazy but dude put himself out there. he was good...just took advantage of it.
 
 


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