BULLETIN: Florida Attorney/CPA Lorn Leitman Sentenced To More Than 17 Years In Ponzi And Fraud Caper; Federal Judge Orders Upward Departure From Sentencing Guidelines, Saying Lawyer Targeted Elderly Investors, Friends And Military Members

BULLETIN: A 61-year-old Florida attorney and CPA who targeted elderly investors, retirees, friends and members of the military in companion fraud schemes has been sentenced to 210 months in federal prison.

Although sentencing guidelines suggested that Lorn Leitman would serve a maximum of 151 months, U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke of the Southern District of Florida departed upward from the guidelines, effectively turning what might have been a sentence of 12-plus years into one of more than 17 years.

Cooke departed from the guidelines after hearing a Leitman victim say “my dreams are dead,” according to the office of U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida.

“The court explained that the decision to sentence above the guidelines resulted from the defendant’s conduct preying upon his closest friends, fellow servicemen, the elderly and retirees, and noted that the defendant breached codes of conduct applicable to members of the Florida Bar and certified public accountants,” Ferrer’s office said.

Leitman’s Ponzi scheme operated for a decade and involved an investment pitch for “phantom residential mortgages,” prosecutors said. A companion scheme in which members of the military were sucked into “predatory and usurious loans” also was part of Leitman’s fraud scheme, according to investigators.

Ferrer has thrown down the gauntlet to scammers in the Miami region and fraudsters operating offshore while targeting U.S. residents. A special task force operating in the region is specifically targeting investment fraud.

The Miami region has been plagued by fraud schemes, including the spectacular Ponzi caper involving more than $1 billion pulled off by now-disbarred attorney Scott Rothstein and a $935 million “grocery” Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Nevin Shapiro.

In January 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ventured to South Florida and issued a warning to scammers that the government was serious about putting them in jail.

“To those who see the victimization of others as an avenue to wealth, take notice,” Holder warned a year and a half ago. “If you fabricate a financial statement, if you propagate an investment scheme, if you are complicit in an act of financial fraud, you are writing your ticket to jail.”

Prosecutors in various districts across the United States have been targeting attorneys who provide cover to fraud schemes and help white-collar crime and hucksterism flourish.

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4 Responses to “BULLETIN: Florida Attorney/CPA Lorn Leitman Sentenced To More Than 17 Years In Ponzi And Fraud Caper; Federal Judge Orders Upward Departure From Sentencing Guidelines, Saying Lawyer Targeted Elderly Investors, Friends And Military Members”

  1. YEAH JUDGE MARCIA G. COOKE! I hope all the other judges take notice and start doing the same.

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  2. Maybe they can go after Lawyer Larry for his involvement in the ASDMBA?

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  3. Knowing this person – I find it very difficult to fathom

    I know him as a gentleman and scholar…

    Perhaps, one can look at some of the merits of his life…
    These are extensive, and are unfortunately over-shadowed by this deed.

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  4. WTPX:
    Knowing this person – I find it very difficult to fathom

    I know him as a gentleman and scholar…

    Perhaps, one can look at some of the merits of his life…
    These are extensive, and are unfortunately over-shadowed by this deed.

    It is obvious that you were never scammed by this man. I was and my husband was and our lives have been ruined by his merits. May he rot in hell.

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