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Faces In The News
There's Something About Larry
Lexi Feinberg, 04.16.09, 04:00 PM EDT
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
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 Investment Securities and wife of Eric
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
One of his clients, Chris Upchurch, a former car
dealership owner in Boise, Idaho, found him via
Google while staring down 20 counts of bank fraud.
"Lawyers aren't worth a dime when it comes to this,"
he said, adding that Levine gave him sound advice
and encouraged him to plea it out. He now faces a
33-month sentence in June and refers to Levine as
"This is a moneymaking idea, so I jumped on it,"
Levine's phone is ringing off the hook and he's been
making the media rounds, appearing on Fox News
and MSN and in Forbes. As the financial press
covers Wall Street's continuing meltdown, Levine is
front and center, riding the wave of the only sure bull
market -- prison grays and electronic cell locks.