The government informant whose undercover recordings helped indict high-profile defense attorney Bob George was forced to admit on the stand Thursday that he had it out for his former attorney.
The surprising admission in U.S. District Court in Boston came at the end of a full day of trial Thursday where prosecutors played dozens of secretly recorded conversations for the jury.
The late revelation about career government informant Ronald Dardinski is significant because it calls into question his credibility and motivation for working with George, who once represented him, on an alleged money laundering scheme.
Dardinski claims he just happened to run into George in 2009 at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree and that George offered to help him launder drug money so that the illicit profits would seem like they were earned legitimately.
As the defense began cross-examining Dardinski, defense lawyers unleashed a big surprise, playing recorded calls Dardinski made from jail in 2008 and 2009, before Dardinski ever ran into George.
In recordings played in court, Dardinski is talking to his girlfriend, saying attorney George owes him money from an old case and that he's left George threatening messages.
"Trust me, (Bob George will) get these messages," Dardinski was heard saying in the taped jailhouse call. "People always think they're safe from me when I'm in here. He'll do what he's told."
Prosecutors were caught off guard by the jailhouse recordings, which will continue to be played on Friday as the cross-examination of Dardinski continues. Defense attorneys suggested the recordings will show that Dardinski planned to target his former attorney, saying at one point he's going to "smash" his head.
The jury will have to wait until Friday to hear those recordings though. Most of today was given to prosecutors to play recording after recording showing what they say is overwhelming evidence against George.
One clip shows George talking details of the alleged money laundering scheme.
Attorney George: You're going to definitely do it?
Attorney George: How much?
Dardinski: I'm going to do $100,000 and then we're going to go from there.
Attorney George: No, no, no that's not what I meant.
Dardinski: $80,000 for $100,000 .
Attorney George: It's the same thing, right?
Attorney George: Okay
Dardinski: He said there's a couple of ways he can do it. He can write you a check and then you can give it to me or whatever.
Another sample played in court shows George trying to distance himself from the transaction.
Attorney George: And is he ready to do what you asked him to do?
Attorney George: Then what are you talking to me for?
Dardinski: Because he's going to give you the check.
Attorney George: He is huh?
Attorney George: Tell him he has to call me to give me the check. Oh he's going to give me a check made out to you?
Dardinski: No I'm going to make it out to a company, and then he, the guy that's , what he's gonna do, he's going to make it out to I guess to you and then you're going to make one out to, to this company and then...
Attorney George: Tell him, no, no, no... why... let me ask you something.
Attorney George: Why, why am I involved in this?