Scott Gilbert, the attorney for Castro's former American hostage Alan Gross, is no stranger to conflicts of interest.
He's a skilled personal injury attorney who made a fortune in asbestos litigation -- though sometimes a bit too ambitious for his own good.
In what The Wall Street Journal called, "The Great Asbestos Scam," Gilbert was penalized $13 million by a U.S. federal judge in 2006 for a major violation of the rules of professional conduct, whereby he colluded to make money from all the parties in a litigation.
In other words, it was unclear who he represented.
Last week, Gilbert hosted the inaugural fundraiser -- at his Miami Beach home -- for a new PAC that seeks to lift sanctions against the Castro regime.
The fundraiser's headliner was Alan Gross. But Gilbert was the media's headliner, handling all interviews and PR.
Gilbert pitched Gross' participation in the event as altruistic.
Surely Alan Gross supports the Obama-Castro deal that got him released from Cuba. All hostages support the ransom paid for their release, regardless of whether it's good policy or the dangerous precedent it sets.
No one blames him for that. Gross was and remains a victim.
With Gilbert's guidance, Gross received $3.2 million (minus legal fees, of course) from the U.S. government, as part of a deal with his former employer, Development Alternatives, Inc. ("DAI").
He had also filed a separate $60 million lawsuit against the U.S. government, but it was tossed out by a federal appeals court. A separate lawsuit against DAI was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Not missing an angle, Gilbert has now created a consulting firm, Reneo LLC, which is lobbying on behalf of U.S. companies that seek to do business with the Castro regime.
(Remember: The Cuban people are prohibited from participating in foreign trade and investment on the island. All foreign trade and investment in Cuba is solely conducted by Castro's monopolies.)
Thus, Gilbert was featured in Forbes over the weekend, grumbling about foreign competitors in Cuba, the need to lift the embargo for U.S. businesses, etc.
Clearly, he wants to capitalize on his new contacts in the Obama Administration and Castro regime.
Fair enough -- but Gilbert should be transparent about who he's representing.
And whether Gross is being used as the poster boy for his new business.
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