Monday, June 29, 2009

Wall Street Prison Consultants - "Going From The Exchange Floor To the Prison Yard?"

Faces In The News
There's Something About Larry
Lexi Feinberg, April 16, 2009
After serving 10 years, Larry Levine did what any respectable criminal would do: He became a consultant.

With white-collar crime surging and the SEC on the prowl, business is booming for former federal prisoner Lawrence J. Levine, founder of Wall Street Prison Consultants. He's the go-to guy for corrupt businessmen who engaged in fraudulent behavior and are looking for ways to dodge the fist of the law -- but even he wouldn't speak to Bernie Madoff.

"His people called me; I refused to help him," Levine said. He then added, "I don't help child molesters either."
Levine, 47, said he spent a decade in jail for "narcotics trafficking, securities fraud, racketeering, obstruction of justice and ... machine guns." Since his release in 2007, he's been on supervised probation and trying to make a buck off the soon-to-be-convicted with rates that start at $1,000 per case. He claims he can show you how to survive on the inside, how to reduce your sentence and even how to beat a charge or two.

Lawyers and judges traffic in justice but Levine is more practical about the ins and outs of criminal law.

"It's not who's right or wrong -- it's who's a better liar."

The recent turmoil on Wall Street and the Bernie Madoff case inspired Levine to augment his American Prison Consultants brand with the trendier Wall Street Prison Consultants. He said that he's "tired of seeing people get burned by the system."

He recently received a call from someone who claimed to be associated with the Madoff case. She never identified herself but Levine believes it was Shana Madoff -- the compliance lawyer at
Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities and wife of Eric Swanson, a former top lawyer at the SEC -- and he has speculated about it in the press. Shana Madoff's representative said she never called Levine; Forbes tried but was unable to get comment prior to publication.

While Levine's focus has recently shifted to white-collar crimes, he's made a name for himself by finding loopholes in the law. One way is by taking advantage of prison policies to help prospective prisoners get into the jail drug rehab program and "receive extra time off their sentence even with no evidence of drug or alcohol abuse in their pre-sentencing report." (See "
Time Off For Bad Behavior.")


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