White-Collar Crime

Young lawyer takes plea in lender-looting case as trial looms for 4 other defendant attorneys

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Cory A. Leshner said he was still a law student when he became part of a claimed scheme to take over and loot a Texas-based mortgage company.

Now Leshner, a 30-year-old Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy in federal court in Camden, N.J., according to the Reading Eagle.

Additional participants among the 13 defendants in the federal racketeering conspiracy and securities fraud case included an alleged member of an organized crime family and an alleged associate of crime families, as well as other lawyers.

Leshner admittedly helped other defendants manage family trusts and limited liability companies and worked with bank accounts through which prosecutors say proceeds of the scheme were passed, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the District of New Jersey.

Leshner will be sentenced in January. He faces a maximum five-year prison term as well as a hefty fine.

Seven other defendants are scheduled to go to trial near the end of October, the press release says. They include attorneys David Adler, Donald Manno, Gary McCarthy and William Maxwell.

Previous reports explained that McCarthy, a Pennsylvania practitioner, is accused of helping to set up companies and business transactions related to the claimed racketeering scheme to take over the board of FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. and strip it of $12 million in assets. Adler, a New York lawyer, was accused of participating in the scheme by working on securities filings for FirstPlus; Maxwell, a Texas lawyer, is accused of taking $3.5 million in legal fees while doing minimal work; and New Jersey attorney Manno represented one of the claimed leaders of the scheme as a defense attorney.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “5 Lawyers, Ex-Crime Boss Son Among 13 Indicted in Alleged Lender Takeover by Racketeer Enterprise”

ABAJournal.com: “Defendant Lawyer in Lender-Racketeering Case Seeks Severance From ‘La Cosa Nostra Allegations’”

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