On Friday, indicted Duke Cunningham co-conspirator John Michael attempted to turn the tables on his uncle Thomas Kontogiannis, who appears to be cooperating with the government to convict Michael in order to get his own sentence reduced. Michael threw down the gauntlet in a wide-ranging motion seeking the dismissal of charges against Michael, the exclusion of Kontogiannis's testimony, and the removal of one of the U.S. attorneys on the case, Philip Halpern, as Kontogiannis's daughter purchased a home owned by Halperin's uncle in Nassau County, New York. Reports the San Diego Union-Tribune
The papers allege that Kontogiannis' daughter, Annette Apergis, purchased a Nassau County, N.Y., home from a member of the Halpern family in June 2005. The prosecutor's uncle died in 2003 and the home, on a privately owned and maintained street, was bought from his widow, according to the papers.
But the transaction wasn't recorded until this year â after Kontogiannis took a plea deal from prosecutors. Kontogiannis pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering for his role in hiding the bribes given to former congressman Randy âDukeâ Cunningham through mortgages.
The motion filed by Granger, says the case against Michael should be dismissed because prosecutors have allowed Kontogiannis to continue to profit from his complex mortgage and financial frauds, even after he pleaded guilty in February.
Granger is asking District Court Judge Larry Burns to dismiss the indictment against his client, or prohibit Kontogiannis from testifying. Michael is going on trial along with Brent Wilkes, the Poway defense contractor who is alleged to have bribed Cunningham to win lucrative defense contracts.
We've added Michael's motion to our Document Collection, and you can read it here
. Check back for choice tidbits, as it reveals aspects of Kontogiannis's murky, extralegal history.Update
: This post initially stated that Kontogiannis' daughter sold her home to Halpern's uncle, when in fact it was Annette Kontogiannis Alpergis who purchased the property.