Works of Non-Fiction (involving Mr. Schoenbach’s Cases/Clients)

The Pizza Connection
by Shana Alexander

This critically acclaimed work focuses on the defense attorneys in the largest and most comprehensive “mega-trial” of the 1980s. The case charged 22 reputed members of the Bonano Crime Family in the United States and Italy in an international racketeering, narcotics, and money laundering conspiracy. After 10 months of trial Mr. Schoenbach succeeded in having all charges dismissed against his client in return for a guilty plea to a false visa application. The client was sentenced to time served and walked out of the court a free man.

Seeds of Terror, How Heroin is Bankrolling the Taliban and Al Queda
by Gretchen Peters

This book describes a former client of Mr. Schoenbach’s and the relationship between the client and Afghanistan’s heroin trafficking, terrorism, and the United States government.

Murder Machine, a True Story of Murder, Madness, and the Mafia
by Gene Mustain and Gerry Capeci

“This bombshell of a book written with cool professionalism and exacting precision” is the story of the DeMeo Crew, the Gambino Crime Family’s “murder machine” and their prosecution in federal court in New York. Mr. Schoenbach was one of the defense attorneys in the 14 month-long trial of United States v. Paul Castellano, et. al., the reputed head of the Gambino Family (later murdered by John Gotti) that charged racketeering and murder against eight defendants.

Excellent Cadavers, the Mafia and the Death of the First Italian Republic
by Alexander Stille

For more than ten years Mr. Schoenbach represented Gaetano Badalamenti, the reputed capo de tutti capi or head of all heads of the Italian mafia. Charged in Italy in 1999 along with the former seven-term Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti, Mr. Badalamenti was acquitted of charges of murder and mafia association. “Excellent Cadavers” is the story of the Italian Government’s Anti-Mafia campaign and particularly of two Sicilian magistrates, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who led the war against the mafia in Italy. 

Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution
y Steven Levy

Along with “Privacy For Sale” (see below) “Hackers, Heroes of the Computer Revolution” tells the story of the first computer hackers, a term then virtually unknown, who tested the limits of electronic access. At the outset of the computer revolution of the late 1980s groups of teenagers and young men began “hacking” into everything from Ma Bell to corporate America and the government. Ultimately, the hackers ran afoul of privacy laws, resulting in the federal prosecution of “Phyber Optic” in what was then the first and most comprehensive case of its kind in the United States. Mr. Schoenbach was the lead defense attorney for the young man who used the moniker “Phyber Optic” as a calling card for his hacking career. 

Forbidden Truth, U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden
by Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquié

Two French investigative journalists wrote of the “Clinton and Bush administration’s attempts to stabilize Afghanistan and make it safe for U.S. energy companies to build a pipeline there” and the then-failed attempt to hunt for Osama bin Laden. The book “so outraged the bin Laden family that a judge banned it in Switzerland where one of bin Laden’s brothers lives.” Ultimately, that brother in Switzerland was successful in his defamation suit and forced the publisher to retract the false claims against him in the book. Mr. Schoenbach was (and is) the attorney in the United States for that bin Laden brother.

Den of Thieves by James Stewart

During the 1990s federal prosecutors targeted Wall Street traders and insiders in what was, at the time, the most extensive criminal prosecution of those in the financial markets. Mr. Schoenbach represented a number of clients who were alleged to be involved with financial crimes and system-wide corruption.

Donnie Brasco, My Undercover Life in the Mafia
by Joseph Pistone with Richard Woodley

Special Agent Joe Pistone (a/k/a Donny Brasco) wrote about his life as an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the Mafia. He appeared as a Government witness at the Pizza Connection trial and testified against many of the defendants in the case. Mr. Schoenbach’s client was dismissed from the case after 10 months of a 17 month-long trial.

Privacy for Sale,” How Computerization Has Made Everyone’s Private Life an Open Secret by Jeffrey Rothfeder

Eerily prescient of today’s concerns for electronic invasion, “Privacy For Sale” describes the ease of computer hackers – a term virtually unknown when the book was written in 1992 – to access what was then thought to be secure private information. Mr. Schoenbach was the lead defense attorney for “Phyber Optic,” a teenage hacker prosecuted in the first and most comprehensive case of its kind in the federal courts.

Trafficking, The Boom and Bust of the Air America Cocaine Ring
by Berkeley Rice

This is the story of Rik Luytjes, a client defended by Mr. Schoenbach, who was a former CIA pilot who turned to drug trafficking with the Colombian drug cartel. Later an HBO movie, the book is the tale of “a double-dealing genius” who masterminded a white-collar, Ivy League, group of international drug smugglers. 

The Snakehead, An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underground and the American Dream
by Patrick Radden Keefe

The true story of Chinese gangs, illegal smuggling of immigrants, and the Golden Venture, a ship that sailed 17,000 miles from Asia with more than 200 Chinese nationals yearning to come to America. The ship crashed on the shores of Rockaway Beach, New York killing a dozen people and resulting in the prosecution of the “Snakeheads,” the alien smugglers who brought these desperate people to the United States. It is a story of one of Mr. Schoenbach’s more famous federal trials; a trial of alien smuggling, extortion, and murder.

The Westies, Inside the Hell’s Kitchen Irish Mob
y T.J. English

A “masterly told true story of the most brutal men this violent nation has ever seen,” “The Westies” is the story of the Irish Mafia that ruled Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen for decades. Ultimately, those in the gang were prosecuted in a now-famous 1988 federal trial in New York that involved racketeering, murder, labor corruption and extortion. Mr. Schoenbach was the defense lawyer for Muggsy Ritter, a long-time member of the group.  

Two Seconds Under the World
by Jim Dwyer, David Kocieniewski, Deidre Murphey, and Peg Tyre

The bombing of 1996 bombing of New York’s World Trade Center killed six people and caused nearly a billion dollars in damage. “Two Seconds Under the World” tells the story of the first World Trade Center bombing and presages the international terrorism that would soon become all too common. Ultimately, those responsible for the bombing, as well as those involved in a conspiracy to blow up the Statue of Liberty and the United Nations, were prosecuted in New York. Mr. Schoenbach defended the man that worked as translator to and confidante of the blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. 

Works of Fiction

The Intruder by Peter Blauner

Peter Blauner, a widely respected prize winning author (1992 winner of the Edgar Allen Poe award), wrote this work of fiction using Mr. Schoenbach as the “model” attorney. Mr. Blauner, “a brilliant young writer, obviously destined for a spectacular career” according to the New York Times, followed Mr. Schoenbach for more than six months, attending two of his trials and several investigations to learn the nuances of being a criminal defense attorney.