White-Collar Crime

Attorney is convicted of conspiring to bilk criminal defense clients out of big bucks

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A 56-year-old Texas criminal defense lawyer was convicted this week of conspiring to bilk clients out of big bucks, with the help of a former used-car financier.

After a 15-day trial and 14 hours of deliberation, a federal jury in Houston found Abraham Moses Fisch guilty Wednesday on 18 counts that also included charges of money laundering, obstruction of justice and failure to file tax returns, according to the Houston Chronicle (sub. req.) and a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Texas.

An alleged drug trafficker and his wife testified that they paid Fisch $1.1 million to get charges against them dismissed, and a defendant in a health care fraud case said he was told Fisch could get a “guaranteed” dismissal for $3 million.

Fisch shared the money he got with former used-car financier Lloyd Glen Williams, 71, who, clients allegedly were told, had contacts with people in federal government law-enforcement agencies in Washington to get charges dismissed. In fact, no bribes were paid to U.S. officials, no charges were dismissed, and Fisch and Williams simply split the fees, according to prosecutors.

Williams took a plea in 2011, pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to obstruct justice and filing a false tax return, although he has been seeking to vacate that plea.

Fisch’s wife was acquitted on the two charges she formerly faced, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Fisch remains free on bond pending a September sentencing at which he faces a potentially hefty prison term.

An earlier ABAJournal.com post provides more details.

Hat tip: Houston Press.

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