Recap / Law And Order S 19 E 11 Lucky Stiff

The owner of a trucking company, Vic Russell, argues with a worker about the number of trucks that need repairs. The worker says that, due to freezing temperatures, the fuel filters in the truck engines clogged. They are using the filters up very quickly, and in fact just ran out. Russell tells the worker to pick up some more, and adds that they should stop using the special fuel they've been buying and should just use diesel.

"You're the boss."

Russell leaves. Later, Lupo and Bernard find him dead in the street. He was shot with a .45 at a distance, and is missing his watch but still has his wallet.

Russell's secretary confirms that Russell is in fact the victim. She says that she doesn't know if Russell was married, and asks what will happen to the trucking company. Bernard doesn't know. She mentions that Russell left early the previous night, but as usual, didn't tell her where he was going. Lupo, though, finds a note saying that Russell had a meeting with a 'Klein' at 6:30.

Stan Klein is the owner of Zero Sum Inc., a carbon offsets company. He appears shocked to hear of Russell's death.

"I thought these things don't happen any more."
"They still happen."
—Stan Klein and Cyrus Lupo

Bernard asks what the visit was about, and Klein says it was a business meeting. Klein explains that some people, concerned that their consumption is producing greenhouse gasses, will buy carbon offsets. The money from the offsets is used to make other businesses more environmentally friendly. Russell was one of his carbon offsets contractors; some companies would pay him to convert his trucks to use biofuels.

"Why bother to turn off your own lights when you can pay someone else to turn off theirs?"
"Not exactly the way I would put it."
—Kevin Bernard and Stan Klein

Klein talks up his company and says that Americans pollute a lot. He asks what kind of car Lupo drives; Lupo says he takes the subway, and Bernard chuckles. Klein finally says that Russell was renewing his contract; that was why he was there the previous night. Bernard asks where Russell went next, and Klein says that Russell was going to dinner; Russell invited Klein, but Klein had a family engagement.

Van Buren says that Russell's autopsy is in; his stomach was full of caviar and other rich foods. Lupo gets off the phone and says that Russell's real name is Vladimir Rezanov; he emigrated from Russia many years previous, but was suspected as being a member of the Russian mob. Bernard is surprised that the Russian mob is still in trucking instead of more white-collar crimes.

"Well, this recession is tough on everyone."
—Anita Van Buren

According to the Organized Crime Control Bureau, one of Rezanov's mob associates is local. Alex Arshavin, secretly a loan shark, owns a fancy restaurant near where Rezanov was shot.

Eating caviar, Arshavin says that he knew Rezanov since way back. Bernard asks when they last met. Arshavin thinks that Bernard is joking, but when Bernard says he's serious, Arshavin admits that Rezanov was there the previous night. The cops ask if Rezanov was discussing a loan, and say they know Arshavin's real job. Arshavin admits that Rezanov owed him money and they were discussing repayment options.

"But, nicely. Nicely."
—Alex Arshavin

Rezanov, says Arshavin, foresaw a big windfall and was going to make a big payment soon. He says he didn't kill Rezanov; after all, he'll never get his money back now that Rezanov is dead. Lupo asks when Rezanov left, and Arshavin complains that they know all this already — a man saw Rezano leave, got in his car, and followed him. Arshavin thinks it was the police in the car. The cops are surprised by this information.

"NYPD, FBI. There's always somebody. Last night there was black SUV. Very subtle. Ooh, I'm so fooled… what? You mean wasn't cop?"
—Alex Arshavin

At the precinct, Arshavin helps a sketch artist come up with a portrait of the man who followed Rezanov. It's slow going, and Bernard thinks they're going in circles. Meanwhile, Van Buren tells Lupo that no federal agencies were watching either Arshavin or Rezanov the previous night. Arshavin continues to direct the sketch artist.

"No. More forehead. Like Putin."
—Alex Arshavin

Van Buren wonders if Arshavin is making it up. Lupo doubts it; Arshavin seems convinced that Rezanov was about to pay him back. The trucking company was going under, however, and Lupo can't find any information in Rezanov's books on the money that Klein was paying Rezanov to use biofuels. There are coded entries, though, which Lupo can't decipher. Arshavin finally accepts the sketch, and Bernard calls Lupo over — the sketch fits Klein perfectly. Van Buren sums up that Klein's payments to Rezanov are either missing or in code, and Klein was following Rezanov. She tells the detectives to see Klein's customers to figure out what happened to the money.

Mary Gable, a cupcake proprietor, offers the detectives cupcakes.

"I joined up with Zero Sum as soon as I heard about it. To really help save the planet, it's exhilarating."
—Mary Gable

She says that Klein gave her a few options for where her donation could go, and she chose West Side Express, Rezanov's company. She wanted to help a local business. Klein gave her a tour of the truckle lot, and told her that her contribution converted twenty trucks to biofuel engines. Later, a travel agency representative named Jim Walcott tells the detectives much the same story, including getting a tour of the lot. He paid $2000 a truck, and gave Klein enough money to convert the entire fleet of forty trucks. Once he leaves, the cops muse about Klein selling the biofuel upgrades to the same trucks to multiple people. They decide to go visit the lot.

"This is math I can do in my head."
—Cyrus Lupo

The worker at the truck agency grumbles about all the tours they had to give to Klein's customers. He is skeptical of global warming, since there was an ice age before the Industrial Revolution. The worker says that Rezanov and Klein told the Zero Sum customers that their money was going to convert the trucks to biofuel. However, the biodiesel clogs the fuel pumps in cold weather, so they stopped using it. He adds that Klein ran over eight tours in the lot to sell his offsets. When Bernard asks about the relationship between Rezanov and Klein, the worker says that it was great until Rezanov overheard someone say that it cost $2000 to convert each truck. Rezanov proceeded to take Klein into a private room, and the worker heard shouting from there later. A truck engines blows up behind the worker, who runs to deal with the problem. As they leave, the cops joke about global warming.

"I'll buy you the Al Gore movie for your birthday."
—Cyrus Lupo

Bernard and Lupo tell Rubirosa that the fraud case is a slam-dunk; Klein sold the trucks at least ten times. Rubirosa agrees, but isn't sure about the murder charge. Van Buren says that their accountant looked into Rezanov's coded entries; Klein was only paying him $300 per truck. Bernard adds that Rezanov saw Klein, then was expecting money right before he was killed; so the cops posit that he was shaking Klein down and Klein killed Rezanov to get out of the jam. Rubirosa wonders about the black SUV, and Van Buren says that Rezanov doesn't have one, but his wife Patricia does. Rubirosa says that she'll get an arrest warrant for fraud, and a search warrant.

"Two warrants in one trip? Fuel efficient."
"We do what we can."
—Anita Van Buren and Connie Rubirosa

Klein complains about being arrested, and Patricia says that their lawyer is on his way. Another man enters, saying that he lives in the house. He yells at the police who are taking his computer. Patricia introduces the new man as Chad, Stan Klein's son. Lupo asks if Chad's car is his mother's; Patricia says that she's technically Chard's stepmother, but that the car is in fact hers. The cops make Chad give them his keys.

Lupo tells Van Buren that there was no weapon in the house and the car had no evidence in it, but Klein's thumbprint was found on Rezanov's wrist. The two go into the lineup vestibule, where Rubirosa and Arshavin are waiting. Klein and some other men are on the other side. Arshavin jokes that he was never on the police side of the lineup room before, and ogles Rubirosa. Van Buren asks if he recognizes the man he saw outside the restaurant. Arshavin easily identifies Klein, and Rubirosa tells the cops to book Klein for fraud and murder. Arshavin leers at Rubirosa as they do so.

In jail, Cutter says that they know about the fraud. Klein's lawyer, Brad Feldman, says that the fraud isn't a motive for murder. Cutter explains their theory — Rezanov wanted more money, and Klein chose to kill him rather than pay him. Feldman tries to argue that Klein is a good citizen and a member of environmental groups, but Rubirosa brings up the fingerprint and the witness. Klein remarks that the 'witness' is another mobster, but Feldman cuts him off. Feldman says that they're putting together a high-priced legal team to challenge all the state's evidence and to find out Arshavin's true past.

"I hope your office has the resources to sustain a lengthy and complicated trial. We do."
—Brad Feldman

Outside, Rubirosa complains that Klein stole a fortune that he is now using to fight conviction. Cutter wants to seize Klein's assets. He explains that, if they can convict him on enterprise corruption, arguing that the murder and fraud were a single corrupt scheme, the money can be automatically seized by the state. Rubirosa points out that this charge is a conspiracy charge, so they need to say that Klein ran the fraud scheme with someone. Cutter says they can argue that he ran it with Rezanov.

"So we're going to put a dead man on trial for murdering himself?"
"Why not?"
—Connie Rubirosa and Michael Cutter

Judge Allister Delaney examines the superseding indictment for enterprise corruption. Feldman says that the enterprise corruption statute is supposed to prosecute mobsters, not entrepreneurs, and remarks that Arshavin is probably a better target for that sort of charge. Cutter says that being environmentally friendly doesn't get anyone a get-out-of-jail-free card. Delaney confirms that the lawyers know that double jeopardy will apply both to this charge and the underlying fraud and murder, then allows the charge to stand. As for bail, while Rubirosa argues for remand, Delaney sets it at one million dollars and orders that Klein is to be subject to home monitoring. Feldman says that Klein has a new address; he separated from Patricia.

"He's confined to whatever home he has."
—Allister Delaney

Rubirosa wonders why Patricia would kick Stan out.

Patricia tells the lawyers that she thinks Stan is innocent. Cutter asks about the separation, and Patricia says that Stan just needs to concentrate on his defense, away from the reporters that are clustering around the house. Her daughter, Alicia Carson, says that her mother doesn't need to talk to them, and Patricia asks the lawyers to leave. Cutter asks if Stan's alibi, that he was home the night of the murder because it was Patricia's birthday, is true. Patricia says that she went to bed early and can't confirm that Stan was home, but knows that he's not a murderer. As for Alicia, she was at her dorm at New York University. Chad comes down the stairs with a box of things; he's moving out as well. He wasn't at home either, but doesn't think that his dad killed anyone. He exchanges a glance with Alicia.

In court, Arshavin testifies that Klein was the man who followed Rezanov out of the restaurant.

"He's got that forehead. Like Putin."
—Alex Arshavin

Feldman uses a diagram of the restaurant and street to show that the man with the SUV was standing far away from Arshavin and was not near any streetlight. Arshavin says that there were lights on the buildings. Feldman interrogates Arshavin about his loan shark business, and Arshavin has to admit that he does make loans, and one other customer who owed him money died mysteriously. Cutter objects to the line of questioning, on the basis that no connection was ever established between Arshavin and the previous victim. Feldman says that it's a pattern, but Judge Lester Poole sustains the objection. On redirect, Cutter gets Arshavin to say that Rezanov owed him more than one hundred thousand dollars, which he will now never get back.

The truck worker says that the trucks were falling apart, and that business was down because of the recession so Rezanov couldn't pay for repairs. Right before he was killed, though, Rezanov told the worker that he was going to get some money that he had coming. This happened after Rezanov learned that Klein was shortchanging him on the Zero Sum business. Feldman asks if the worker liked Klein, and the worker says no, since Klein always had them wash his Prius but never tipped. He adds that Chad had his SUV washed the morning after the murder, complaining that the Klein family was arrogant through and through. Feldman aborts the questioning in a hurry. Rubirosa whispers to Cutter that Chad cleaned the SUV to hide any evidence of the murder, and Cutter tells her to get a warrant to search Chad's house.

Chad bickers with Bernard and Lupo. He says that he washed the car on his own accord; he was going to meet some people and didn't want to drive a dirty car.

"Hey — if I was washing brains off the dashboard or something, you think I'd be stupid enough to take it to that truck place?"
—Chad Klein

He says he took the car to the truck lot because the car wash was free. He adds that he's saving money for his new real estate company. Bernard finds a watch, and notes that the band is broken, there's blood on it, and the initials on the watch don't match Chad's. Chad says that the watch initials, BP, aren't Rezanov's either, but Bernard says that the Russian V looks like a B, and the Russian R looks like P. The watch is Rezanov's. Chad has to admit that he found the watch in the SUV. He testifies to this affect in court. Klein is convicted of enterprise corruption. Feldman requests that bail be continued, and despite Cutter's objections, Poole allows this. Alicia hugs Patricia, and Chad looks pensive. Stan looks horrified.

Later that night, Cutter drinks shots and says that he wants to celebrate his victory. Rubirosa corrects him that it's their victory. Then she gets a call, and says they have to go. Lupo and Bernard soon arrive at Stan Klein's new house, where Stan and Patricia have been murdered. Alicia found their bodies.

In an ambulance, Chad says that Alicia has been sedated. He confirms that he arrived after Alicia. Lupo offers condolences, but Chad rejects them, saying that Lupo wanted Stan in jail.

"In jail. Not this."
—Cyrus Lupo

Bernard asks to talk to Alicia alone, and she weakly says that it's okay. The cops ask what happened, and Alicia says that Patricia wanted to talk to Stan. She doesn't remember if the door was locked or not. As the cops prepare to go, Alicia says that Stan managed to whisper that the Russians were the ones that killed him. He died thereafter.

Arshavin jokes about becoming a suspect.

"We've been partners so far. Thought you're going to give me a badge."
"Uh-uh. No badge."
—Alex Arshavin and Cyrus Lupo

Lupo says that Arshavin has been jerking them again. He says he doesn't know anything about the crime. When Lupo says that Arshavin may have killed Klein to prevent Klein from testifying about the Russian mob, Arshavin clams up, saying only that his mother told him to never talk to the police. The police leave the interrogation room.

Van Buren says that Arshavin was being watched by an anti-crime task force during the murder. Lupo wonders if one of Arshavin's friends did it, but Bernard gets a forensics report and says that the same gun that killed the Kleins was used to kill Rezanov. He says that the Russians wouldn't have had access to that gun. Van Buren points out that the Russians may have killed both the Kleins and Rezanov, but Cutter insists that Klein killed Rezanov. Lupo points out the gun problem again. Bernard points out that Chad might have the gun. Rubirosa says that they never found the gun in Chad's place, but Bernard argues that, unlike the watch, Chad would know he needed to hide the gun. Van Buren and Lupo realize that Alicia didn't mention the Russians at all to the first officers there; she only brought it up once Chad arrived. Cutter wonders if Chad told her to make it up, and Lupo says that Chad has dropped out of four colleges and is sponging off of his parents. Van Buren says that they need to check with Rodgers to see if Stan could have really spoken.

Rodgers admits that Stan could have talked for quite some time with the wounds he had. With a torso wound that didn't hit the heart or a major vessel, a human can talk for up to half an hour. Lupo and Bernard then go to talk to Alicia. She maintains that Stan brought up the Russians, and claims that she doesn't remember anything about what she said to the first responders or to Chad. She does admit that Chad and Stan were having problems, mostly due to the trial. She says that she rarely sees Chad, but Lupo finds a real estate book. She says a friend owns the book but doesn't know who.

Sarah, Alicia's roommate, tries to deny most knowledge of Chad, but the cops tell her that it's a murder investigation. She says that the situation was weird.

"I didn't even know they were brother and sister at first."

Bernard asks what she thought, and Sarah says that Chad and Alicia were going out. Alicia told her that they weren't raised together, so it wasn't really incest. Lupo brings up that Chad is six years older than Alicia, and has lived with her since Alicia was fourteen. Sarah is grossed out. She says that Chad and Alicia were very physically intimate, but kept it quiet so their parents wouldn't find out and disinherit them.

The cops watch security footage of Chad and Alicia kissing. Chad is also in the room, and says that they only kept it secret because Patricia thought of Alicia as her little girl, who needed protection from boys. He complains that they're discussing a relationship instead of finding out who killed Stan, but Bernard brings up that Stan's own gun was used to kill the Klein parents. Lupo asks if Stan found out about the relationship, and Chad says that he did find out, but wasn't going to do anything. Chad adds that Rezanov told Stan — Rezanov saw the two kissing at the truck lot while Chad's car was being watched. Chad is adamant that, while Rezanov told Stan, Stan didn't care — until Rezanov threatened to tell Patricia.

Cutter wonders if their motive was wrong, and Lupo says that they were right that Rezanov was blackmailing Klein, although they didn't know what the actual blackmail was. Lupo points out that this could be Chad lying; if Chad's story is true, he had no motive to kill Stan, who didn't care about the relationship with Alicia. Bernard points out that Chad wouldn't have had much of a chance to know what Rezanov and Stan were discussing, and Rubirosa adds that Chad did, if his story is true, have motive to kill Patricia. Cutter complains that they can't get their story straight. Rubirosa argues that there was no reason to kill Stan; he had no money because of the confiscation of his assets. Cutter gets a new motion and says that this isn't necessarily true; Feldman is moving for abatement. He's arguing that Stan had no chance to complete the appeals process, so the only fair thing to do is to void the conviction and the forfeiture of his assets. The cops and lawyers sum up that, if the motion succeeds, Chad will inherit all of Stan's money that was supposed to be seized by the government, which he can use to fund his real estate business.

"I think we can get our story straight now."
—Michael Cutter

In court, Feldman argues that Stan had not exhausted the judicial process, ergo, his conviction should be void. Cutter tries to argue that, in cases where abatement happened, the convicted parties died after filing an appeal, which Stan never dead. Feldman says that Stan never had a chance to file an appeal since he was murdered so soon after the verdict. Poole points out that Klein was likely to appeal. Cutter says that it's unjust to allow his heirs to retain the swindled money, and says that the heirs may be suspects in the murder. Poole says that this is irrelevant and allows the motion.

Outside, Rubirosa grumbles that Chad and Alicia just inherited two million dollars. Cutter wonders if Alicia was in on it from the beginning, and Rubirosa doubts it, but thinks that Chad might have convinced her to go along and frame Arshavin after she found the bodies first. Cutter says that, if they can get Alicia to admit what Chad did, they can convict him. The lawyers go to look at the Kleins' wills.

Alicia doesn't want to talk to the lawyers, but listens to them. She says that she owns the house now. They tell her that Patricia left the house to Stan, but Alicia doesn't believe them. She says that, even if that's true, Stan died too, so she still inherits the house. Rubirosa and Cutter say that, because Stan was still talking when Alicia found them, he probably died after Patricia. This means that he briefly inherited all of her property, and now that he's dead, Chad gets everything. Rubirosa asks if Stan was really talking, and Alicia says that he was. She insists that, even if this is all true, Chad loves her, and they'll split whatever either of them inherits. Outside, though, Rubirosa thinks that Alicia is wavering, and Cutter thinks they can apply some more pressure to get her to crack. He wants to get involved in the probate hearings.

"What kind of standing do we have to get involved over there?"
"Not much."
"Good enough."
—Michael Cuter and Connie Rubirosa

Surrogate Murray complains about Cutter and Rubirosa being present at the hearing. Cutter says that they want Chad barred from inheriting since he killed Stan. Feldman says that this is ridiculous, since Chad wasn't convicted or even charged. Rubirosa argues that the surrogate court can consider who is entitled to inherit. Cutter wants to ask some questions about the case. Feldman protests, but Murray allows it. He says that Chad can take the 5th if he wants, and Alicia should get her own attorney. When everyone else leaves, Rubirosa wonders what to do next. Cutter says they should get a draft of Rodger's report.

Cutter questions Chad in court.

"Mr. Klein, did you kill your father?"
"Did you kill your stepmother?"
—Michael Cutter and Chad Klein

Cutter brings up the relationship between Chad and Alicia, and asks how Stan felt. Chad says that Stan didn't care. Feldman asks what the point of this questioning is.

"He's apparently not gonna confess to a double homicide, Mr. Cutter."
—Surrogate Murray

Cutter asks if Chad took a course in criminal law, and Chad says he did. Cutter points out that the course covered abatement. Chad says that he stopped going to class before they got to that section.

Alicia maintains her story on the stand. She says that she was out of her mind, and that was why she didn't talk about the Russians to the first responders. Cutter badgers her on this, until her attorney objects. Murray shuts down the questioning. He says that the only remaining issue is who died first. Feldman argues that, due to Alicia's testimony, they can conclude that Patricia died first. Alicia's attorney says that he saw a draft copy of Rodgers' report, which says that Patricia may have lived longer — talking may have hastened Stan's death, and there was evidence that Patricia bled longer than Stan did. Murray says they'll need a copy of the report. Feldman and Alicia's attorney argue over who died first, with Feldman saying that the issue will have to be litigated. Alicia seems unhappy at this, and Cutter recommends that Chad and Alicia just agree to split the estate 50-50, regardless of who died first. Alicia is fine with this, but Chad whispers to Feldman, who first hesitates, then says that it's not okay with them. Chad wants the full estate. Chad tries to say that they'll share everything, and that things are somehow simpler if he gets it all legally, but Alicia doesn't believe it. Cutter brings up that Chad has a right to the money, thanks to Alicia's testimony. Alicia recants, saying that Chad asked her to lie about the Russians. Rubirosa lets Lupo and Bernard in, and when Alicia accuses Chad of murder, the cops arrest Chad and take him away.

"I hope you rot!"
—Alicia Carson

Rodgers complains about the draft report — her name wasn't even spelled right.

"So I guess it didn't come from you."
—Michael Cutter

Rodgers complains that Cutter forged one of her reports. Cutter reassures her that it would never have gone into evidence. Rubirosa comes in, saying that McCoy just returned from a campaign trip to Washington. Rodgers asks if McCoy knew about the fake report, and Cutter says no. Rubirosa says that they just gave Chad a chance to show his greed, and he took it, to his misfortune. Rodgers smiles, and just tells Cutter not to do it again. Once she leaves, Rubirosa adds,

"Unless we have to."
—Connie Rubirosa

Outside, the staff cheers for McCoy. Rubirosa goes to get cake. Cutter remains in the office, looking pensive.