Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 05:29 pm
When Springfield last saw Frederick George Celani, he was ’splaining to a federal judge the flimflam known as Kayport Package Express. Oldtimers (and by that we mean anyone who remembers the early 1980s) will recall Celani bamboozled a good part of the city by setting up Kayport, which he vowed would rival Federal Express in the package delivery biz. The operation closed four days after it opened, with nary a package delivered, and Celani went to prison for fraud. Now, he’s in New York, awaiting trial for allegedly bilking investors in a make-believe retirement home business that had as much substance as Kayport. But he showed up in the local court docket last month when he asked U.S. District Court Judge Sue Myerscough to dismiss a 2001 warrant for a probation violation in the Kayport case that was otherwise adjudicated during Reagan’s first term. It seems that Celani had violated probation terms by adopting the name the Rev. Bob Hunt and telling Cuban nationals in federal prisons that he was both a minister and a lawyer who would evaluate their cases for $250 and provide unlimited legal services for a flat rate of $2,500. Myerscough last week denied Celani’s motion, and so he’ll have local authorities to deal with once he is finished in New York, where a judge earlier this year granted a defense motion for a psychiatric examination. Prosecutors did not object.