Newscast Media MIAMI—In an elaborate scheme that was hatched to defraud clients
who had trusted him, the once-famous Florida attorney, Anthony Livoti Jr. was
sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison for his misconduct, and was ordered to pay
restitution of $826 million to his victims.
In his khaki jail scrubs, the shackled Livoti made a plea to the court for leniency.
“I had a life that was always filled with joy, now I have a life filled with sadness,” the
attorney told the court. “Judge, I am a life worth saving,” he implored the judge.
Investors were also among his victims, in a scheme that defrauded senior citizens and
patients suffering from terminal illnesses. Investors were told they would reap a
profit once the patients and seniors died, and their policies sold.
Once the attorney received the money, his clients were never disbursed the funds
they were promised.
“I lost my way and I wish I could go back and change it,” Livoti said, apologizing to
the victims for what he called the “terrible wrong” he committed.
Cases where greedy attorneys defraud or over-bill their clients thousands of dollars
are not unusual, and the FBI is among one of the several federal agencies that
aggressively pursues attorneys engaged in client fraud. (pop-up)
“When a lawyer, an officer of the court, defrauds clients, it’s a serious crime—and a
heinous breach of trust,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko. “The FBI
is committed to investigating financial schemes at every level and working with our
partners to hold white-collar crooks accountable,” he added, referring to another
FBI-investigated case where lawyers defrauded eight of their clients. (pop-up)
During Livoti’s sentencing, federal prosecutors said Livoti abused his position as an
attorney and violated the public trust.
Newscast Media ATLANTA, Ga—The Securities and Exchange Commission announced charges against a private fund manager and his Atlanta-based investment advisory firm for defrauding investors in a purported “fund-of-funds” and then trying to hide trading losses by creating new private funds to make money to pay back the original fund investors in Ponzi-like fashion.
The SEC is seeking an emergency court order to freeze the assets of Angelo A. Alleca and Summit Wealth Management Inc. and prevent further investor losses, which are estimated to be $17 million among approximately 200 clients.
“Alleca told Summit Wealth clients that he was investing their money in funds, but instead he was rolling the dice in the stock market without success,” said Bruce Karpati, Chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Asset Management Unit. “Rather than fess up about his trading losses, Alleca tried a cover up by creating new funds. Instead of winning back the money, he just compounded his fraud by suffering further losses.”
After receiving a tip, the SEC initiated an examination of Summit Wealth. As SEC examiners noticed something was amiss at the firm, they immediately coordinated with SEC enforcement attorneys to gather and assess evidence.
“SEC examiners and attorneys acted swiftly after receiving a tip about possible wrongdoing at the firm, and have mounted an aggressive effort to put a stop to Alleca’s fraud before more investors are harmed,” said William P. Hicks, Associate Director of the SEC’s Atlanta Regional Office.
According to the SEC’s complaint filed late yesterday in federal court in Atlanta, Alleca and Summit Wealth Management offered and sold interests in Summit Fund, which they told their clients was operating as a fund-of-funds – meaning they were investing their money in other funds and investment products rather than directly in stocks and other securities.
The SEC’s complaint charges Alleca, Summit Wealth Management, and the three funds with violations of the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.