Ex-prosecutor pleads not guilty to bribery charges

AP News
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Posted: Nov 23, 2009 3:24 PM

A former federal prosecutor and prominent New Jersey defense attorney whose past clients have included Queen Latifah and Lil' Kim has pleaded not guilty to bribery, drug and prostitution charges.

Paul Bergrin of Morganville appeared Monday in U.S. District Court in Newark. He's been held since his arrest in May for allegedly arranging the murder of one witness and trying to set up the murder of another.

The government could pursue the death penalty against Bergrin for the murder counts.

Federal prosecutors say Bergrin used threats, bribes and even murder to discourage witnesses from testifying. They allege that Bergrin passed the name of an informant to associates of a client in a drug case. The informant was shot to death in Newark in 2004.