The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the conviction of Mutual Benefits Corporation attorney Anthony Livoti, Jr., who was found guilty in the District Court of mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, and sentenced to ten years in Federal Prison. Livoti had a central role in the Mutual Benefits Ponzi scheme, and additionally was the Trustee who held title to the life insurance policies owned by Mutual Benefits' clients, who purchased interests in what are called Life Settlements, obtained in the secondary market for life insurance policies.
The appeals court held, Per Curiam, in an unpublished opinion:
(1) Sufficient evidence supported Livoti's convictions.
(2) The District Court did not plainly err when it permitted testimony about the civil proceeding against Mutual Benefits.
(3) The District Court did not plainly err when it permitted testimony about the guilty pleas of Livoti's cohorts. (Many Mutual Benefits officers pled guilty).
(4) The District Court did not plainly err because the Government did not bolster Lombardi's testimony. (Peter Lombardi was the president of Mutual Benefits; he was a cooperating individual at trial).
(5) The District Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied Livoti's motion for a new trial, based upon juror misconduct, without an evidentiary hearing.
We have previously warned that any attorneys who discover that their client is engaged in a Ponzi scheme must immediately withdraw from representing that client, and are well advised to engage the services of a competent criminal defence attorney, to determine whether they have any exposure to criminal charges and whether they should contact law enforcement. Remember the Crime or Fraud exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege applies if the criminal conduct occurring was not known to counsel.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant