Paul Monea's convenient case of hearing loss

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Career con-artist Paul Monea may have one of the world’s rarest health conditions: a hearing problem that acts up on command. In his money laundering trial that started today, Monea’s lawyer Bill Whitaker filed a motion for Monea to get special “accomodations” for his hearing loss. But before U.S. Judge John Adams starts searching the Yellow Pages for deaf interpreters, he should check out the FBI transcripts of Monea’s conversations with “John Rizzo,” the undercover agent Monea was trying to sell a 43-carat diamond and Mike Tyson’s former mansion through. During this particular conversation, Monea was driving to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with Rizzo to meet “Geraldo,” another FBI agent posing as a South American drug lord. Rizzo: “I’m really gonna be up front with you. I make a lot of money with these guys. They don’t sell coffee beans. . . . They’re drug dealers.” Monea: [Turning to his friend in the car, Scott] “Hey Scott, you know how I am deaf in my left ear and my hearing aid battery comes and goes. . . . I don’t have any problem doing business with rug dealers, do you?” Scott: “Rug dealers? No, I love rug dealers.” Stay tuned to C-Notes for word on how the deaf defense works out for Paul Monea. -- Jared Klaus

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