Bad Lawyers

John Chambers Charged with Bribery and Conspiracy in NYPD Gun Permit Scandal
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John Chambers

Summary: The details of the bribes-for-permits scandal involving NYPD police officers and a self-proclaimed gun lawyer to the stars are emerging.

More details have emerged about the lawyer charged alongside three NYPD officers in a gun permit scheme involving bribes for expedited gun permits. John Chambers proclaims himself to be the best gun lawyer. The truth is emerging about his role in a scheme that gave out gun permits to those that could pay, many to those with criminal records.


To learn more about this case, read Three Former NYPD Officers and Lawyer Arrested.

Chambers, 62, is a former Brooklyn prosecutor, giving him the experience and connections to pull off a scheme which allowed to have an NYPD cop on his payroll. He used his NYPD connection to secure expedited gun permits for his clients, including smoothing out any legal problems that may have interfered with them getting a permit.

His website claims he is “the ONLY lawyer specializing in gun licensing EXCLUSIVELY” and the “Top Firearms Licensing Attorney in NY.” He brags about a client list that includes movie stars, artists, NY Times bestselling authors, Saturday Night Live alum, and radio personalities. He backs up these claims with a photo with conservative commentator and writer Ann Coulter on his site. In the photo, the two are at an indoor firing range, each aiming a gun and wearing shooting earmuffs. She states that she has never hired him to represent her but that the picture is a nice one.

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Authorities charged Chambers with bribery and conspiracy in a Manhattan federal court. They allege that gave “numerous valuable items” to ex-cop David Villanueva between 2010 and 2015. These items include Broadway tickets, restaurant meals, an $8,000 Paul Picot watch, and sporting event tickets. Villanueva, who is cooperating with investigators, was tasked with making sure the clients received their renewed gun permits in one day or less. Generally, the process can take 30 to 40 days, according to court papers.

Villanueva also helped incident investigations move along where Chambers’ clients may not have been able to secure a permit, making sure the end result was a “beneficial resolution.” The Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges that Villanueva assisted in at least 12 renewals and between 50 and 100 NYPD incident investigations for clients that had records that would not have allowed them to have a gun.

The allegations continue, stating that Chamber used Villanueva’s connections with the Nassau County Police Department to help his clients. For these connections that led to three expedited renewals, Chambers gave Villanueva $1,500 in cash hidden inside magazines. A test message Chambers sent Villanueva in 2014 says, “If we play our cards right, you could potentially be looking at an extra 10K in cash in a 12 month period, give or take…just for being my Nassau Co. ‘consultant.’”

Chambers was released on $100,000 bond. He has retained defense lawyer Barry Slotnick, who said, “I’m confident that his case will either be dismissed or a jury will bring in a not guilty verdict.”

Do you think attorneys should be able to discuss who their clients are or is it a breach of confidentiality? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about lawyers that tried bribery, read these articles:




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