A risky realm
In the next two years, the three men would look for ways to stay out of prison with Sater delving into the dangerous world of arms traders and smugglers.
At the time, Russia was teeming with a network of people selling tanks, fighter planes, radar systems and missiles, wrote Lauria, 43.
The CIA was worried the weapons would be sold to our enemies, he said.
For Sater, it was the perfect solution.
They would get Russian operatives to buy the anti-aircraft missiles from terrorists with the CIA kicking in $300,000 for each missile, the book states.
The deal would collapse with the CIA and FBI at odds over the arrangement but the crucial contacts in the black market would soon be fruitful for the defendants after the attacks of 9/11.
Now the information was deemed important enough, Lauria said in the final chapter of his book.
Though Lauria changed his mind and tried to stop publication, saying it was a work of fiction, co-author David S. Barry said his research for the book was drawn from interviews, court documents, police reports, and federal records, among others.
Barry said he spent months communicating with Lauria, getting intricate details about their foray to snare the missiles with the help of Russian brokers.
It was a straight effort of reporting on my part, said Barry, a former Associated Press reporter who has authored two other books.
Though most of the defendants in the stock swindle were sentenced by 2004, prosecutors pressed the court to delay sentencing for Sater so he could keep working with them his racketeering crimes hidden.
In the ensuing years, he jumped into the real estate business, joining forces with Donald Trump who lent his name to projects in Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix and New York.
Sater was among the most visible members of the development team, interviewing with the media about the ventures, his conviction never revealed.
He would jet back and forth to South Florida, buying a condo on Fisher Island in 2007 while investing millions with his company in the Midtown Miami project the same year, records show.
Word leaks out
Not until a civil racketeering suit was filed two years ago accusing him and others of massive fraud in the Fort Lauderdale tower and other projects did his role in the $40 million stock scheme come to light.
A former finance director for the developers accused Sater and others of diverting millions from the IRS through shell companies.
The developers have vehemently denied the allegations, but the issue that galvanized the court was the fact that the lawyers inserted the sealed information about Sater in their case.
Prosecutors argued that the case could have been filed without tapping into the highly sensitive records that were somehow leaked to the lawyers.
Something very bad and perhaps despicable was done by the use of those documents, said Judge Glasser.
Saters former lawyer, Kelly Moore, also argued that sealing the records was not just crucial to protecting human life but national security, records show.
But lawyers pressing the suit have now taken the case to the Supreme Court, saying the judge went far beyond his bounds by hiding a racketeering case for 14 years including the entire docket.
A covert dual justice system of secret criminal trials is illegal and can have no place in American law, wrote Lerner in a brief before the Supreme Court.
Paul Cassell, a former Utah federal judge who joined the appeal, said the victims were deprived of ever knowing whether a ringleader in a major stock scam was punished.
[Sater] apparently continues to live the high life off of the money that he stole from victims, he wrote in a brief for the National Organization for Victim Assistance.
Though top suspects in the securities scam were ordered to make restitution, including three of the ringleaders, no such order exists for Sater, according to records just released.
Just as pirates think that Dead Men tell No Tales, the government seems to believe that sealed cases will never be subject to public scrutiny, Cassell wrote.