­Gary Vitta

January 13, 2015

 Honorable Stanley R. Chesler, U.S.D.J

United States District Court

Frank R. Lautenberg U.S. Post Office and Court House

2 Federal Square

Newark, New Jersey 07102

 RE:       United States v. Gary Vitta

            Crim. No. 15-01

 Dear Judge Chesler,

 This may be the most difficult letter I have ever needed to write, because it is tearing at my heart. It is so very important for me to be able to convey to you the true person Gary is, and what he means to our family and friends. It is my intent to avoid sounding cliché, corny or beguiling, and my hope that I can express to you the good man that Gary is.

 I have known Gary and his wife Susan since 1975. I was 16, and my boyfriend John was a very close dear friend of Gary’s. John became my husband years later, and Gary served as best man at our wedding.  As the years past, our daughters and Gary and Susan’s daughters were born around the same time, and my girls knew him as Uncle Gary.

He and my husband were like brothers, and over the years we made many memories, shared good times, vacations, holidays, and unfortunately some sad times. At the age of 37 my husband died suddenly of a massive heart attack. Gary was crushed. He and Susan grieved like it was their brother, which in spirit they were.  They were there for me through it all. He was there for my daughters, who were just 5 and 10 years old when their dad died; whether it was just to talk, cry or laugh, Gary always made sure he was there for us. And he made sure that all the traditions we shared when my husband was alive, continued to be part of our lives with Gary, Susan and their daughters.


Gary is the older brother I never had, and his wife Susan is like my sister. I consider his daughters my nieces. It was Gary who could hear the sadness in my voice while I was still grieving and having a bad day. In fact, he could even tell through an email if I was down, not myself, or having a hard time as my girls were growing into teenagers. Because of his support, I made it through. And it was Gary who generously accepted a new husband in my life several years later when I remarried. What could have been an awkward situation for some, was a sincere welcome on his part.

 Gary is a giver. It’s who he is and part of his spirit. He wants to help people, and to know that he has made a positive contribution to their life. Whether he’s giving advice on curriculum or career choices to a new college student, tutoring a student in biology, advising someone about good financial decisions and investments, or helping to write a resume or recommendation letter for someone he knows is looking for employment, he does it sincerely and with an open heart. But he doesn’t end it there: he follows up to be sure the person is doing well, has had success or needs more help.

 Besides having an open heart, Gary has an open home. One of his many traditions the last 35 years is an annual Christmas party. Whether you are family, a colleague, neighbor, supervisor, his gardener or barber, Gary invites you to his annual Christmas Party. Two years in a row, even the caterer came! It literally makes him happy to see you there, enjoying the food, music and conversations. Only the year my husband passed away did Gary not have the party. It’s not about Gary, it’s about others.

 Then there was Anthony. Gary knew of Anthony, who was a close business associate and friend of my first husband. Anthony was battling alcohol addiction and having a tough time. After losing his business, and almost is wife and daughter, he overcame the addiction through long term treatment. In need of a job, Gary helped Anthony with applications, and eventually directed him to a maintenance position.

 Over the last year, I’ve noticed Gary has not been himself. He’s been quieter than usual, and seemed distant when we were all together.  I noticed he looked very stressed. We had no idea the ordeal he was going through, or what was happening in his life at this time. We still got together for gatherings, outings, traditional celebrations, but something was missing. I began to worry if he was seriously ill, and was keeping that from us. Several times during the last year, I asked him if everything was alright, if everything was ok with his family, or if he was upset about something. He never let on to us what was happening, and it wasn’t until now that we found out what he has been going through. It has taken a heavy toll on his spirit, his joy, and his peace of mind. It literally breaks my heart.

 Whatever has taken place that has brought Gary to this point of difficulty, I know in my heart, and always will, that he is a good man, an honest man, a devoted husband, father and son. He has been a friend that has stuck closer than a brother, has never turned his back on anyone who sincerely needed help, and has given back tenfold to the community as well.

 Has he made errors in judgment? Perhaps made a bad decision? Said the wrong thing at the wrong time, or out of context? The answer to that question is: “haven’t we all?” Has he been intentional, deceitful or malicious? My heart says no. I will continue to support, and do all that I can for Gary, Susan and their daughters to help them during this difficult time.

 With respect, Judge Chesler, I ask at this time that you genuinely take into consideration my letter and all other letters from those of us who stand behind Gary in support of his true character. Specifically, I ask for leniency on Gary’s behalf, and hope that you can understand the good he has contributed to family, friends, and his community, and how much he is loved and valued.



Angela Caruso 

Executive Administrative Assistant

Christian Brothers Academy