FBI and IRS agents raided the home of Greg Anderson's mother-in-law Wednesday in what Anderson's attorney said was a tactic to ratchet up the pressure on his client to testify for the government in the upcoming Barry Bonds perjury trial.
Mark Geragos, Anderson's attorney, said 20 IRS and FBI agents raided the Redwood City, Calif., home of Madeleine Gestas, the mother of Greg Anderson's wife.
"It's such a blatant and transparent attempt to intimidate Greg," Geragos said. "It makes you wonder whether you're living in the Soviet Union."
Matthew Parrella, the lead prosecutor in the Bonds case, did not respond to a request for comment.
Geragos said the morning raid on Gestas' home follows demands by federal prosecutors that Anderson cooperate with them. Anderson was Bonds' personal trainer for years and is alleged to have supplied the all-time home run leader with performance-enhancing drugs.
Bonds faces 10 counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice related to his grand-jury testimony about whether or not he used steroids. The trial is scheduled to begin March 2.
"Monday they faxed a letter, demanding to know whether [Anderson] was going to testify," said Geragos, adding that last week the government issued a subpoena for Anderson to appear at the trial. "They're acting like the Gestapo. Even the Mafia spares the women and children."
Anderson served nearly a year in prison for refusing to testify before the BALCO grand jury. Geragos said neither he nor his client have any obligation to answer the government's demands that Anderson announce whether he intends to testify.
The New York Times has reported that prosecutors have been threatening to bring tax-related charges against Gestas. Soon after Bonds was indicted in late 2007, Anderson's wife, Nicole, received a target letter from federal prosecutors.
The raid mirrors another attempt today by the government to bolster its case against Bonds. Prosecutors asked Wednesday morning that the government be allowed to make alleged steroid tests of Bonds public in a filing due Thursday.
Judge Susan Illston rejected that request, ordering the records to remain sealed.
A major hearing on the evidence in the high-profile perjury case is set for next Thursday.