Forum publisher pleads guilty to concealing felony crime

Forum publisher pleads guilty to concealing felony crime
Pat Adams, the former publisher of The Forum, has pleaded guilty to withholding information on a felony crime.
Photo by Ellis Kaplan
By Naeisha Rose

Patricia Adams, the former publisher of The Forum Newsgroup weekly newspaper in Howard Beach, is expected to return to court Sept. 13 after pleading guilty to one count of misprision, which is an acknowledgement of concealing information about a felony crime, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn.

The June 26 confession comes nearly a year after Adams was arrested Aug. 16, 2017, for allegedly intimidating a sexual assault victim. She could face up to three years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“I was aware that another person attempted to harass and swayed an individual from testifying,” said Adams in statements made in court.

Adams allegedly intended to use her community newspaper, which is circulated in Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Broad Channel, Richmond Hill and Woodhaven, to humiliate the sexual assault victim of a Bonanno crime family associate, according to Special Agent Andrew Campbell of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On a 2-1/2-hour conversation recorded by the plaintiff’s father on May 14, 2017, Adams implied she would destroy the victim’s reputation unless the plaintiff drops the sexual assault case, according to the FBI.

“It’s not going to be good for her publicly,” said Adams in the recording. “[The assault case] only matters once she crosses the threshold and signs the paper that she is going through with it.”

Adams was indicted on four charges Nov. 15, 2017 of witness tampering and obstruction of justice, which could have landed her in prison for 20 years if she was convicted, according to U.S. Attorney’s office.

Adams came under the scrutiny of the FBI after alleged Bonanno crime associate and deli owner Robert Pisani reached out to her about using her resources to undermine the sexual assault case against him, according to Campbell.

She became embroiled with the crime family after allegedly going into debt at one of their illegal gambling businesses in Ozone Park, which was the reason Pisani was under home confinement for racketeering charges, according to the FBI. Pisani was allowed, however, to run two of his delis, including the All-American Bagel and Barista Company in Howard Beach where the assault occurred on April 28, 2017.

If the victim, an employee of All-American Bagel, came forward, Pisani would have violated the terms of his bail and be forced to forfeit $50,000 and two properties that he owned with his wife, according to the FBI.

Pisani would eventually plead guilty to unlawful debt collection on Nov. 17, 2017 and was sentenced in April to 15 to 21 months in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

On June 27, a jury convicted Pisani of forcible touching, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. Pisani was scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 14 and faces up to a year in prison.

Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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