The Michael Roberts-Jim Toledano Sting Stinks

[Moxley Confidential] Upon close examination, this sordid tale looks less like a criminal case and more like a civil matter

There's something else troubling. To support her contention that Toledano committed extortion, Olivieri called a lone, so-called expert to the grand jury: Paul Roper—the Marconis' personal lawyer and the man police used to carry a duffel bag containing $360,000 to Roberts in the sting operation.

Roper testified that a fool could see that Roberts had no case and that Toledano's goal was therefore extortion: the exchange of Bo's incriminating letters and pictures and a promise not to go to the media for the money. Here again, however, we encounter likely self-serving spin slamming into pesky facts: Roberts went to the media before he accepted the duffel bag.

Also, there is no direct evidence, other than Roper's word, that Toledano ever threatened that a failure to pay meant he would go to the media with salacious dirt or accuse Bo of committing perjury about the sex. Without a threat, there is no extortion attempt.

Brian Brown


To further explain the flimsiness of the case, Roper—with Olivieri's prodding—cast Toledano's tough negotiating with the Marconis as the work of a criminal. Roper testified that it's unheard of and suspicious for a lawyer to try to negotiate a settlement for a client prior to going to court.


Do what the grand jury shamefully didn't: Consider the absurdity of Roper's statement. Then think about the fact that the prosecution's case relies on the uncorroborated word of a lone, biased witness who is on the Marconis' payroll. Then ask yourself if this sordid mess should have ended up in a criminal courtroom.

 * This article was modified on June 23, 2011.

This column appeared in print as "This Sting Stinks: The more you look at the criminal case against Michael Roberts and Jim Toledano, the more it looks like a matter for civil court."

« Previous Page