Mentor vs. Mentee – Former Bergrin Associate Takes the Stand

Thomas Moran spent the last 2 days testifying in a federal courtroom in Newark, NJ against his former boss, Paul Bergrin, who stands charged with crimes including murder, racketeering,witness tampering, and cocaine trafficking, and who is representing himself at trial. During Bergrin’s cross-examination of Moran, his proclaimed former mentee, the battle proved to be intense and personal.

“I never did anything but serve you, serve you loyally….and this is where it got me,” testified Moran, in response to Bergrin’s attacks on his character. Bergrin dropped his courtroom habit of referring to himself in the third person and Moran called his former mentor by his first name. But that didn’t stop Bergrin from raising his voice and firing off a series of questions regarding Moran’s marijuana and cocaine habits, as well as his hard-partying lifestyle. It was an obvious attempt to discredit Moran’s testimony that he was Bergrin’s “right-hand” man and confidant.

Moran had earlier testified that Bergrin hired him in 2007 during the pendency of a criminal matter in New York, wherein Bergrin was charged with allegedly running a former client’s high-profile prostitution ring. Moran quickly learned of Bergrin’s unconventional ways – smuggling contraband into the jails for clients, calling on gang leaders to force false testimony during trials, calling on mob enforcers to quiet potential witnesses who had information concerning Bergrin’s prostitution charges, and ultimately, arranging the murder of a witness slated to testify against a drug cartel client, Vicente Esteves.

It was this last incident that led to Moran’s downfall – he was caught on tape in 2008 arranging the murder. The conversation led to his being arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder in 2009. Moran testified, as required by his plea deal with the federal government, that Bergrin had plotted the murder with his then-client, Esteves, and a purported hit man, Oscar Cordova, who was actually a federal informant. Both Esteves and Cordova have already testified against Bergrin.

For more information on Moran’s testimony, see the article entitled, “Bergrin spars verbally with former protege at murder/racketeering trial.”

Bergrin’s trial is now in its sixth week. The federal government is still presenting the case-in-chief against Bergrin.