This story came to me in the form of a court case. It was an article I read about realtors and how competitive some markets are. I just added my twist to it. Enjoy the story.
JUSTINE NORM, a realtor, stood in front of a federal judge and took the Alford Plea. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison for illegally selling 30 houses in one year.
“The only reason Mrs. Justine Norm took the Alford Plea was to not admit to her wrongdoings,” US District Judge Ben Logan said in Fairfax, Michigan. “She took the Alford Plea to avoid the possible 115-year sentence the prosecutor would ask for if there was a trial.” Then in an unusual turn of events, Judge Ben Logan went off-script. He imposed a 50-year prison sentence with the eligibility of parole after 30 years were served.
Justine, 45, shocked at the announcement, jumped up and called Judge Logan a swindler. She attempted to run to the judge. Two Deputies from the Sheriff’s Department restrained Justine. She had to be led out of court as Judge Logan finished her case.
Justine’s attorney, Richard Joppen, was also led from court. He yelled, “Justine was railroaded! This is a travesty! It was the most insincere deal of the century! This will not stand!”
Richard would make bail and stand on the courthouse steps to answer questions. It was his way of keeping his $800 an hour meter going. He explained to the press how Justine was taken to the woodshed, blindfolded and hands tied behind her back. She was then mentally assaulted by the judge and the prosecutor.
Trying to garner sympathy for Justine, Richard told of a hardworking mother of three.
“Justine’s only crime was putting food on the table for her three children,” he said. “All are under ten years old. She is the only breadwinner in her family. Her husband is an unemployed truck driver. Salt of the earth is what they are. He will most likely never get a job in Fairfax, Michigan, or any place else in this country. All because of this embarrassment of justice.”
Richard then pointed to a woman in the crowd. “You could find yourself in the same place as Justine Norm, young woman,” Richard said. Unbeknownst to Richard, he had pointed to the reporter who broke the story on Justine. Her name was Marla Ollen, from the US Times.
“Did she do all those things she was accused of?” Marla asked.
“Are you asking me if she sold houses and lots of them?” Richard asked, condescendingly and grinned. “Yes. She’s guilty of being successful.”
“What about the fact that she got one of her clients or victims drunk?” Marla asked. “Took him to a seedy motel on the edge of town and had a prostitute lay naked with him, knowing he was married and had a sensitive job. Then forced him to sell his one million dollar home a week later.”
Richard tried to interrupt. Marla yelled over him.
“Which she pocketed $70,000 in commissions,” Marla said. “A month later, she had him buy another home for $1.2 million. She pocketed $84,000 in commissions on that sale. Is that what happened with your client? Didn’t the court say she has more than fifteen sales that fit that description? Possibly earning close to $2 million?”
“That’s called blasphemous young lady!” Richard yelled. “You’re crossing a line.”
Richard stormed off the steps toward a black Cadillac Escalade. A driver was holding the door open for him. Ten feet away from the SUV, Richard turned to the crowd. “This isn’t over,” he said. “We’re appealing this senseless sentence. And when I’m finished with Judge Logan, he won’t be able to preside over a sack race at the county fair.”
Richard jumped in the Escalade and locked the door. The driver got inside and drove him away.
Less than a minute into the drive, Richard’s anger was gone. He pushed an icon on his phone and put the phone to his ear. “Is my tee time still on for tomorrow at nine?”
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