News and Press Releases

PONZI SCHEME DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH ADDITIONAL THEFT FROM EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Isabel Colon, Acting Regional Director of the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), announce the indictment of defendant Lorn Leitman, 61, of Miami, on charges of stealing from an employee pension benefit plan, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 664. Leitman, an attorney and CPA who had previously pled guilty to a mail fraud offense involving a 10-year Ponzi scheme, had his initial appearance today on the new charge of stealing from the South Florida Emergency Physicians, P.A. Profit Sharing Plan.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Employee benefit theft robs from those who earned their benefits through their sweat and years of work. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will work hand-in-hand with the Department of Labor to make sure these fraudsters are brought to justice.”

“Theft of employee benefit assets jeopardizes the benefits of workers. This case reaffirms the Labor Department’s commitment to protect workers’ benefits by identifying criminal activity wherever and whenever it occurs,” said Isabel Colon, Acting Regional Director of EBSA’s Atlanta Regional Office and the Miami District Office.

If convicted, Leitman faces a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison. Leitman’s sentencing on the Ponzi scheme charges also began today and will resume on July 6, 2011. For the Ponzi scheme, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of up to 20 years’ imprisonment.

Mr. Ferrer commended the Department of Labor’s investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Rochlin.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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