From: MICHAEL MARIN <mjmarin@***.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 2, 2009 at 5:12 PM
To: Christine Marie
If ever I’ve ever needed a favor from you, this is the time. With an urgency that defies the power of mere words to express, I desperately need your help. Maybe you can help, maybe you can’t, but I hope you will forgive me for asking. If nothing else, your friendship is important to me, and I would really appreciate anything you could send my way in terms of positive energy and prayers. By the time you finish reading this, a mere minute or two from now, you’re going to know a lot about yourself that perhaps you didn’t know before, especially with respect to what you really think of me and whether or not you genuinely believe in one of America’s most cherished ideals: that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
On Wednesday, August 19, 2009, I was wrongfully accused and arrested for arson in connection with a house fire on July 5, 2009 that came perilously close to claiming my own life. (Who sets a fire and then traps himself upstairs to make the escape more challenging? I was hospitalized for several days.) The prosecution’s case is very weak, not a surprise since I am completely innocent, but that did not keep me from spending 10 days in jail, virtually cut off from the outside world, a truly harrowing ordeal in a very violent place.
I was released early in the morning of Sunday, August 30, 2009 on a $200,000 bond, and now my most urgent task is raising the money I need for my defense. In case you’re wondering, no, I’m not okay, not by a long shot–the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail system here, is extremely adept atwaging psychological warfare to demoralize, dehumanize, and break you down in every possible way–but I look forward to my day in court.
My attorney is extremely confident that we will crush the prosecution’s flimsy case, but I’ve found, sadly, that people don’t seem to be able to distinguish between a man who’s been wrongfully accused of a crime and one who’s actually been convicted. You really find out who your friends are at times like these. I’m facing 7-21 years in prison if convicted, and I’ve got to raise at least $100,000 to pay my attorney’s retainer, hire expert witnesses, and mount a successful defense.
I am truly mortified that I am compelled to ask, but there are a lot of different ways you can help if you are so inclined. For example, I guess the most urgent need would be a short-term loan. I effectively bankrupted myself making bail, and I just learned this morning that the first $20,000 check I wrote to my lawyer in partial payment of his retainer bounced. The wolves are at the door. If I can just buy myself a little time I’ll be able to liquidate enough of my remaining assets to pay you right back and pay for my defense. In this economy it seems that even my more well-to-do friends, guys who used to work with or for me on Wall Street, are asset rich and cash poor. They want to help, but they can’t. Can you?
Alternatively, perhaps you (or someone you know) might like to take advantage of my situation and purchase one or more of my remaining assets from me at rock-bottom, fire sale prices (if you will pardon the unfortunate metaphor). How would you (or someone you might know) like to buy a Picasso on the cheap? Or an airplane? Or an antique Japanese samurai sword? Or one of my assault rifles? You may not be cash rich yourself, but if I know you, you’ve got an extensive network of friends who might really benefit from this opportunity. If this all works out the way I hope it will, I could buy my stuff back from the purchaser later and make him or her whole, or the purchaser could keep it if that’s what he or she wants to do, and if the unthinkable happens, God forbid, well, at least the purchaser would have something of significant value to sell so that he or she wouldn’t be adversely affected financially.
Again, I am mortified that I have to ask for your help, and I am so very sorry that I am putting you on the spot to either tell me “no” or to sacrifice to help me under the challenging economic circumstances that everyone faces these days. Please accept my deepest apologies for that. If there were any other way, I hope you know I would muddle through somehow. I’ve exhausted all of my other options. I am literally at the end of my rope. If all you can do is send positive energy and best wishes my way, I would be deeply grateful for that too. You can reach me by e-mail or by telephone. If I don’t respond, there’s always the possibility that the authorities have re-arrested and jailed me on another trumped-up charge, in which case please contact my lawyer Richard Gierloff.