ESPN came out with a piece saying that when Greg Anderson -- Barry Bonds's trainer -- was released form prison where he rotted away for a couple years keeping mum about Bonds, the Feds sent letters of inquiry to his wife. Ouch!
For more than a year, Barry Bonds' personal trainer sat inside a federal prison in Dublin, Calif., refusing to testify about his knowledge of performance-enhancing drug use by his superstar client. Finally, last Nov. 15, the day Bonds was initially indicted on perjury charges, Greg Anderson was set free, seemingly ending a major squeeze play by local prosecutors.
Instead, even as Anderson was released, the government made a move on another member of his family. Within days of the trainer's release, his wife Nicole Gestas received a letter from federal prosecutors informing her that she is the target of a grand jury investigation, four people with knowledge of the BALCO steroids case told ESPN.
The sources asked not to be quoted by name because of the ongoing investigation. Since the initial target letter went out, two of the sources, both lawyers, say they have learned that the government's interest in Gestas stems from tax-related issues. The Internal Revenue Service has been the lead investigative agency in the BALCO case, and the sources said they believe the pressure on Gestas -- and possibly other family members -- is directed at getting Anderson finally to cooperate against Bonds.
Did the US Government target Anderson's wife (who knew he had one) in an effort to pressure the trainer to talk about Bonds?
Anderson had been viewed by prosecutors and investigators as someone who could make a case against Bonds airtight -- if the trainer were to testify. But Anderson steadfastly refused, earning a contempt of court citation that put him prison for a total of 13½ months. Now, though, his wife is in the government's crosshairs, presenting renewed issues for the trainer...Until now, Gestas' involvement in the case seemingly had been limited. On Sept. 3, 2003, the day the government launched raids on BALCO and the homes of Victor Conte and Anderson, court records show Gestas was interviewed for about 15 minutes by Jeff Novitzky of the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations Unit and three other agents. Novitzky had confronted Anderson at a gym near BALCO, then took him back to the Burlingame condominium the trainer shared with Gestas. Upon arriving, Anderson told his then girlfriend, "The BALCO thing has followed me here," according to a declaration by Novitzky. Gestas, also a personal trainer, told the agents she had "never heard that Anderson sells steroids," and she denied knowing there were steroids and syringes in a kitchen cabinet and the refrigerator of the condominium she shared with Anderson, according to a memorandum of interview. Asked how she never saw the drugs or syringes, she told investigators "it was Greg's area and she never looked," according to the document. Gestas also denied any knowledge of about $60,000 in cash found inside a safe in a kitchen cabinet, court records show. She told agents that Anderson paid her $1,000 in cash each month for rent.
Anderson and Gestas apparently were not very happy about the IRS intrusion, which led to more maneuvers, and then Anderson's extended stay in prison:
In an October 2004 declaration, responding to allegations by Anderson and Gestas that he and other agents had not acted within the law the day of the raid, Novitzky defended his actions and indicated he believed Gestas had lied during her September 2003 interview. The agent recounted Gestas' statement she had no knowledge of Anderson's involvement with steroids, and he wrote, "At one point, I told Gestas that I did not believe she was being truthful in this regard based upon steroids which had been found within the refrigerator inside the residence." Novitkzy also suggested that Gestas had lied in a 2004 court filing that was part of a motion by Anderson, Conte and the two other BALCO defendants to suppress evidence on the grounds of government misconduct. Gestas and Anderson both suggested the IRS-CI agent had purposefully refused to provide them with a copy of the search warrant, a charge Novitzky said was "untrue."
Anderson ultimately pleaded guilty to one count of distributing steroids and one count of money laundering. Prosecutors had sought to have Anderson name names of players to whom he provided the drugs during his plea agreement, but the trainer refused, according to court records. He was sentenced to three months in prison and three months of home confinement. Upon Anderson's release, in a move characterized by legal experts as unusually tough, the government turned around and subpoenaed the trainer in April 2006 to testify in the perjury probe of Bonds... Anderson ultimately served 413 days in prison in connection with the contempt citation, freed briefly twice during legal maneuvering. He had been in jail for nearly one year straight before his Nov. 15 release.
You wonder if Anton Chiguhr will head out to Odessa to get Anderson's wife...