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Legal Ethics

Mass. Lawyer Accused of Laundering Client’s Funds Gets 87 Months

Posted May 26, 2009 4:31 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Massachusetts lawyer prominent in the state Republican party has been sentenced to 87 months in federal prison concerning his representation of a jailed client in a federal narcotics case.

Lawrence Novak, 57, who pleaded guilty in February to money laundering and obstruction, was also fined $20,000 and required to forfeit $107,000 by U.S. District Judge Richard Stearns, reports the National Law Journal.

Attorney William Cintolo of Cosgrove Eisenberg & Kiley in Boston represents Novak. "I believe the sentence was way out of proportion to the acts of obstruction Novak was convicted of committing," he says.

Novak, a former officer of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee who ran for several offices on anti-crime platform, was accused by federal authorities of having helped client Scott Holyoke launder $107,000, the Boston Globe reported in 2005.

After Holyoke allegedly began cooperating with authorities, the FBI reportedly recorded conversations between Novak and his client.

Novak also allegedly told the client that he might be able to get convictions vacated by filing false affidavits in state court, the Globe article continues. The tactic was most likely to be successful, he reportedly said, if the judge was no longer on the bench.

''So if the judge is off the bench, basically you can do whatever you want?" Holyoke asked in a July 31, 2005 jailhouse conversation that is recounted in an Internal Revenue Service affidavit filed in federal court later that year.

''That's absolutely right," responded Novak, according to the affidavit. He added: ''Because nobody's there to defend his record."

Additional coverage:

Enterprise (2008): "Republican Larry Novak of Brockton seeks state rep seat"

Associated Press (2005): "Mass. Attorney, GOP Official Charged With Money Laundering"

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