The Trial of Joe Russo

An intimate look at how -- and why -- Houston's high flyer of the '80s was taken apart in court

Afterward, the courtroom seems to throb with hugging, emotional Piperis. The Russo women gather near the elevators, speaking in hushed tones and looking shell-shocked. An uncharacteristically tight-lipped Berg joins them, and a silent Joe Russo; the group melts away into the afternoon with scarcely a ripple, leaving behind the host of questions that no trial -- especially one of such complexity -- can hope to answer.

Conspiracy by its very nature resists unraveling. And not all collusions are overt; assumptions can be made and implications taken without a word having to be spoken. What really happened? By its bribery convictions, the jury concluded that Russo and Ronald A. Piperi had indeed given each other loans intending to get loans in return. By their misapplication findings, they agreed that the two had knowingly converted money from their institutions to their own and each other's benefit. That they couldn't agree on the bank-fraud issue or over-arching conspiracy charge is testament to truth's elusiveness in the massive lending cases left over from the '80s. Yet there was nothing elusive in this: the jury listened to Joe Russo's best pitch and said they weren't buying. In the end, they had decided that the fault lay not so much within Houston's wounded economy as within Joe Russo himself.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...