NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday said former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey have potential conflicts of interest, but may help the wealthy Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab defend against criminal charges in an Iran sanctions case.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said Zarrab has “voluntarily and knowingly” waived the potential conflicts from having Giuliani and Mukasey represent him, but that the conflicts must be “closely monitored” to ensure they do not become worse or turn into actual conflicts.
“The court has also taken into consideration the importance of maintaining the integrity of these proceedings as the case heads toward trial on October 30,” Berman added.
Prosecutors accused the Iranian-born Zarrab and co-conspirators of engaging in hundreds of millions of dollars of transactions for Iran’s government and Iranian entities from 2010 to 2015, in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions.
Mukasey’s potential conflict arose from the representation by his law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, of eight banks allegedly victimized by Zarrab.
Giuliani’s potential conflict arose from the representation of the same banks by his law firm Greenberg Traurig, and from the firm’s serving as an “agent” for Turkey, Berman wrote.