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United States v. Richard Zeitlin

On August 17, 2023, the United States Attorney’s Office announced the unsealing of an indictment charging RICHARD ZEITLIN with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice, in connection with his scheme to defraud donors while soliciting money for certain political action committees (“PACs”).  As charged, from at least in or about 2017 up to and including in or about 2020, ZEITLIN used his telemarketing call center business and various associated entities to defraud numerous donors by providing misleading and false information about how the donors’ money would be spent and the nature of the organizations to which they were giving.  Specifically, ZEITLIN directed his employees to alter the call scripts used when calling potential donors on behalf of certain PACs in order to mislead potential donors into believing that they would be giving to a direct-services organization (i.e., a charity), rather than to a political advocacy organization, (i.e., a PAC).  ZEITLIN was arrested on August 17, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan (Case No. 23 Cr. 419 (LAK)).  The full press release and indictment are available here:

As stated on the record, the following PACs, among others, received services from ZEITLIN’s call center business between in or about 2017 and 2020:

       Americans For Police And Trooper Safety
       Americans For The Cure Of Breast Cancer
       Association For Emergency Responders And Firefighters
       Autism Hear Us Now
       Children’s Leukemia Support Network
       Constitutional Leadership
       Cops And Kids Together
       Firefighters Alliance Of America
       For A Better America
       Heart Disease Network Of America
       Law Enforcement For A Safer America
       National Assistance Committee
       Police Officers Defense Alliance
       Put Vets First! d/b/a Association For American Veterans
       Standing By Veterans
       Support Our Police
       United American Veterans
       United Veterans Alliance Of America
       US Veterans Assistance Foundation
       Veterans Aid


February 5, 2024: Update

The District Court will hear oral argument regarding ZEITLIN’s renewed bail motion on February 13, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 21B at the U.S. District Courthouse located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 10007.


Wednesday, January 22, 2024: Update

On January 22, 2024, the District Court granted ZEITLIN’s unopposed motion to adjourn the trial date in this matter to October 21, 2024.  Trial will commence in Courtroom 21B at the U.S. District Courthouse located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 10007, unless otherwise indicated.


Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Update

A hearing in this matter to address potential conflicts of interest under United States v. Curcio, is scheduled for December 21, 2023, at 2:15 p.m., in Courtroom 21B at the U.S. District Courthouse located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 10007.


Wednesday, August 23, 2023: Update

On August 17, 2023, ZEITLIN was presented before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the District of Nevada.  Following bail proceedings on August 17, and August 18, 2023, ZEITLIN was detained pending trial.

The initial pretrial conference for ZEITLIN is scheduled for September 14, 2023, at 2:30 p.m.  The proceeding will take place in Courtroom 21B at the U.S. District Courthouse located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York, 10007.


Thursday, September 14, 2023: Update

On September 14, 2023, ZEITLIN appeared for arraignment and an initial pretrial conference before the Honorable Lewis A. Kaplan, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York.  The Court heard oral argument and reserved decision with respect to ZEITLIN’s application for bail. 

A pretrial conference is scheduled for January 4, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. in Courtroom 21B at the U.S. District Courthouse located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York 10007.  Trial in this matter is scheduled to commence on April 2, 2024.

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Updates regarding the progress of this case will be posted on this site.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims. If you believe you are a victim of the offenses charged, our Victim/Witness Unit can make sure that you are notified of important stages of the case to help you exercise your rights. In addition, our Victim/Witness Unit is available to answer questions you might have about this case and can refer you to available resources.

Federal crime victims have the following rights, as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3771:

  1. The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
  2. The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
  3. The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
  4. The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
  5. The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
  6. The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
  7. The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
  8. The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy.
  9. The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement.
  10. The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice.

For information and assistance, please contact:

SDNY Victim and Witness Coordinator
United States Attorney's Office
One St. Andrew's Plaza
New York, New York 10007

Updated February 9, 2024