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BELLEVUE MAN WHO MASQUERADED AS MICROSOFT MILLIONAIRE PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK AND WIRE FRAUD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2005

MICHAEL ALAN CASSINI, also known as JEFFREY MICHAEL LEAVITT, 27, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Seattle today to ten counts of Bank Fraud and one count of Wire Fraud. CASSINI obtained loans and lines of credit from numerous banks claiming to be a former Microsoft employee. According to the plea agreement, in one instance he used a forged letter from a British bank claiming he had millions of dollars in his account. Through this scheme he defrauded banks of more than $4.3 million dollars.

As part of the plea agreement, CASSINI will forfeit his interest in a number of luxury items including: a Kirkland condominium; a 2004 Ferrari 360 Modena; 2003 Porsche 911 Turbo; 2005 Lotus Elise; a 2000 Beechcraft Bonanza A36; a 2003 Cobalt 293 boat; three IBM Computer Servers; numerous computers; luxury watches; art; and an interest in a Piaggio P180 Airplane. All of these items were purchased with proceeds from the bank fraud scheme.

According to the plea agreement, between May 2003 and May 2005, CASSINI took out a series of ever larger loans and lines of credit from six different banks. By obtaining successively larger loans, CASSINI sometimes paid off older loans with the proceeds of newer loans, keeping his scheme going. In order to get his first loan, CASSINI provided the bank with false tax returns, a false letter purportedly from Barclay's bank verifying $8 million in assets, and false brokerage statements purportedly from Credit Suisse First Boston that showed he had approximately $5 million in assets at that bank. CASSINI also applied for lines of credit for his consulting company: Aventura Corporation. CASSINI claimed his company had contracts with well known businesses such as Nike, Adobe, L.L. Bean and Toyota. All of these representations were false.

CASSINI admits to committing Wire Fraud in February 2005 when he submitted a false insurance claim by fax to a company in Arizona and was paid more than $23,000.

CASSINI will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman on November 4, 2005.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG) and the FBI.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Norman M. Barbosa and Assistant United States Attorney Mark Parrent. Mr. Barbosa's position is funded by the Social Security Administration as a part of SSA's efforts to combat identity theft and Social Security fraud.

For additional information contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at (206)553-4110.

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