Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Thursday, June 4, 2015

OUTSIDE COUNSEL CONVICTED IN PONZI SCHEME DENIED A NEW TRIAL FOR MINOR JUROR ERROR


Fort Lauderdale attorney Anthony Livoti, Jr., who served as outside counsel for the Mutual Benefits Corp. (MBC) billion-dollar Ponzi scheme, and who received a ten year sentence, on multiple conspiracy counts of money laundering, and wire & mail fraud, has had his motion for a new trial denied by the US District Judge in the case. MBC, a life settlements company, was owned by Joel Steinger, who is himself serving a 20-year sentence for the massive Ponzi scheme, in which investors sustained a net loss of $800m.

Livoti's attorney had sought a new trial after it was discovered,  more than a year after his conviction, that a juror had mistakenly served in place of his own father, who had the same name as his son. The Court denied his motion, because Livoti failed to show any evidence that demonstrated juror bias or misconduct. His counsel subsequently amended his client's pending Eleventh Circuit Court appeal of his conviction and sentence, to reflect that the denial of the motion for a new trial was also being included in his grounds for appeal.

Attorneys, even when they discharge the role of outside counsel, who conspire with their client, in what is later found to be a criminal enterprise, run the risk of being charged, along with their client, when a Ponzi scheme collapses, or is discovered. As we have seen demonstrated repeatedly, all the players in a Ponzi scheme generally are targeted by law enforcement, and face justice, when it is exposed, or implodes, for lack of funds. Even participants who are on the fringe of the scheme are often charged with the entire weight of the scheme. Your proof: Livoti also was hit with $826m in Restitution. Lawyers for Ponzi schemes fall when their clients fall. 

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