Former Old Court Savings & Loan president Jeffrey Levitt, scheduled to go on trial June 2 on charges of theft and misappropriation of $14.6 million from Old Court and another thrift, is weighing a plea bargain arrangement offered by the Maryland attorney general's office.
A source close to the negotiations said that under terms of the deal, Levitt would be sentenced to between 12 and 20 years in prison and be required to make full restitution. The actual prison term would be left up to the judge in the case and be based on the court's presentence report and the degree to which Levitt cooperates in other aspects of the state's investigation of Old Court, the source said.
Levitt would be eligible for parole after serving one-third of his prison term, according to the source.
A spokesman for the attorney general's office refused to comment on the plea bargain offer. Levitt's attorney, William G. Hundley, acknowledged that negotiations had taken place but said, "things are still up in the air."
In addition to the criminal case against Levitt, the state is also pressing a $200 million civil suit against him and other former Old Court directors and officials. Attorneys for Levitt and the state have been seeking a settlement in that case as well, and whether Levitt accepts the plea arrangement depends upon the outcome of the civil suit negotiations, sources said.
At issue in those talks, one source said, is how much the state would seek of the personal wealth that Levitt's wife Karol inherited from her family. Karol Levitt is one of the 35 defendants named in the Old Court civil suit.
The source said Jeffrey Levitt would agree to turn over all of his own funds in making restitution in the criminal case.
Karol Levitt comes from a wealthy Baltimore family whose holdings included the local Pepsi-Cola franchise.
One source said Levitt wants to see that his wife has at least $1 million of her own funds left while he is in prison.
The source said the judge in the criminal case against Levitt, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Edward J. Angeletti, has asked that any plea arrangement be worked out by May 19.
Levitt, 43, is currently serving an 18-month sentence at the state prison at Jessup for criminal contempt of court.
He and his wife were found guilty in January of contempt after a judge ruled that they had violated court-ordered spending limits imposed in order to insure the state could recover funds from the couple if it prevailed in the civil suit.
Karol Levitt was sentenced to 15 weekends in jail and was released early in April after serving 12 of them.
In a 25-count indictment returned in January, Levitt was accused of theft and misappropriation of $11.4 million in Old Court funds, the savings and loan institution at the center of the state's thrift crisis that began last May.
Levitt was also accused of embezzling $2.2 million from another thrift, First Progressive Savings & Loan, which he once directed, and $1 million from an Ocean City property owned by Old Court.