A lawyer accused of being a messenger for the mob was granted bail Monday but not before a federal judge in Brooklyn excoriated him for apparently lying to him twice.
Thomas Lee, 36, a criminal defense lawyer from the Bronx, was granted $2 million bail and ordered to remain under home detention as part of the conditions imposed by Judge Nicholas Garaufis. Lee also must have all his telephone calls monitored, forego using a cell phone and suspend his law practice, Garaufis said.
Lee, yet another casualty from the cooperation of Bonanno crime boss Joseph Massino, was indicted last week on racketeering charges, including murder conspiracy.
He was accused of ferrying messages about Bonanno family business, including plans to carry out a murder, between the jailed Massino and his reputed acting boss Vincent Basciano. The murder was never carried out and Basciano is now in custody on other racketeering charges.
Garaufis said prosecutors made a strong showing that Lee abused his position of trust as an attorney in passing the messages. The judge seemed particularly angered by "substantial evidence" that Lee intentionally mislead him about contacts with Massino.