The attorney for Charles Toomajian is challenging in court a State Police wire tap that allegedly implicates Toomajian in a scheme to help launder more than $1.86 million.
The recordings were made while Toomajian was acting as a private attorney. At the time of his arrest in 2010, he was also the aide to former Malden mayor Richard C. Howard.
Toomajian allegedly conspired in the theft from a Wakefield staffing company, so a second man who was employed there in the accounting department, Charles Davis, could pay gambling debts.
In Middlesex Superior Court today, Toomajian's attorney sought to suppress the weeks of tape-recorded conversations of Joseph Giallanella, a North End bookmaker and loan shark, made by State Police in 2010.
"My client's voice is not on any wire tap," said Thomas Drechsler, Toomajian's attorney.
Investigators only looked to Toomajian after he was mentioned by Davis, Drechsler said.
"Mr. Toomajian is the fruit of the poison tree," Drechsler said.
But in a partial excerpt of one conversation provided in public court records, Davis, at that time still unidentified, tells Giallanella that in order to pay part of his debt, he would have to contact "the attorney."
"I still have to contact the attorney," the man, identified later as Davis, said. "And he's gotta [expletive] cut a check for 28 grand."
Although the bulk of the conversations are still under a court-ordered seal, the excerpt was provided in court as an example of how the tap was the only way authorities could gather evidence.
The motion by Toomajian's lawyer came after a separate effort by Davis's attorney, Elliot Weinstein, to dismiss the wire tap evidence by arguing that police did not exhaust other investigatory options before resorting to the tap.
An informant inside the alleged crime organization had been working with federal investigators, and Weinstein argued that the State Police should have attempted to use the informant instead of the tap.
A decision by Judge William Billings on the admissibility of the recordings will likely prove a turning point for the case; without the wire taps, the prosecution against Toomajian, Davis, and a third codefendant, Paul Breen, weakens, prosecutors argued.
The next hearing, slated for March 20, will be the final test for the wire taps, and when defense attorneys could grill the state troopers who collected the hours of tape.