MSNBC personality Donny Deutsch found guilty of $1.2mn scam

Donny Deutsch (AFP Photo)

Donny Deutsch (AFP Photo)

A Manhattan judge has found an MSNBC personality and former CNBC television host guilty of scamming a Sotheby’s broker out of his million-dollar commission. The judge called the scam “dishonest” and “greedy.”

Multi-millionaire Donny Deutsch was found guilty by a Manhattan court judge of scamming a real estate broker out of his $1.2 million commission over the sale of Deutsch’s $30 million Hamptons home. Sotheby’s International Realty broker Edward Petrie said he had a potential buyer, investor Howard Marks, for Deutsch’s East Hampton home in 2010. But Deutsch knew Marks and double-crossed him by going behind Petrie’s back and brokering the sale privately to avoid paying the commission fee.

READ MORE: American Red Cross accused of diverting funds from storm victims to own PR campaign

This court considers that and refusal to acknowledge [Petrie] as the broker to be marks of dishonesty and greed,” Justice Charles Ramos said in his decision. Ramos awarded Petrie’s employer, Sotheby’s, $1.2 million, reported the New York Post.

Both characteristics are particularly unbecoming when exhibited by those blessed with great wealth,” the judge added.

READ MORE: Fraudsters stole $2 mn in Instagram paycheck selfies scam

Deutsche hosted ‘The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch’ on CNBC, and regularly appears on MSNBC’s morning talk show ‘Morning Joe.’

4 new pleas in record Las Vegas corruption case; defense lawyers for others OK secret evidence pact

Posted May 14, 2014 11:25 AM CDT By Martha Neil

Nevada federal corruption case involving bid-rigging and election fraud at homeowner associations in the Las Vegas area.

When Ricky Anderson, Maria Limon, and brothers Jose Luis Alvarez and Rudolfo Alvarez-Rodriguez enter their guilty pleas next week, that will bring the total of those who have accepted plea deals in the record-breaking HOA case to at least 35, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. It is believed to be the biggest corruption case ever pursued by the feds in Southern Nevada. Alvarez, Alvarez-Rodriguez, Anderson and Limon are accused of acting as straw buyers in a scheme to take over HOAs.

Another six defendants await trial in October on fraud and conspiracy charges. Lawyers for five of the six on Monday signed an usual pact agreeing to keep secret evidence that they will view at the U.S. Attorney’s office. A general protective order was imposed earlier, the newspaper notes.

One defense attorney, Chris Rasmussen, refused to sign. He represents Edith Gillespie, a relative of Leon Benzer, the claimed mastermind of the plot to take over the homeowner associations.

“I’ve never seen a protective order like this,” Rasmussen told the newspaper. “I don’t feel comfortable signing it. I just think it puts too much on us to protect these secrets.”

A suspended attorney, Barry Levinson, pleaded guilty in February to felony mail and wire fraud conspiracy and attempted tax evasion charges. He is one of a number of lawyers accused in connection with the scheme.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Levinson admitted that he had treated Benzer as his client even though he was representing a victimized homeowner association, Park Avenue, and upheld a rigged election of HOA board members that was supported by bribes, the Review-Journal reports.

See also:

ABA “Two lawyers among 11 federally indicted re massive alleged HOA corruption scheme” “Suspended lawyer is accused of stealing $1M from client settlements”

Harvey Whittemore guilty of three counts for illegal campaign contributions A federal court jury in Reno has found Harvey Whittemore guilty of three counts of making illegal campaign contibutions

Harvey Whittemore guilty of three counts for illegal campaign contributions

A federal court jury in Reno has found Harvey Whittemore guilty of three counts of making illegal campaign contributions. They will resume deliberations on a charge the lobbyist and developer lied to the FBI.



Harvey Whittemore, left, and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., The jury began deliberating Tuesday afternoon in Whittemore’s trial on allegations of illegal campaign contributions. He is accused of unlawfully funneling $133,000 in contributions to Reid.