Allen Feinberg, a former officer and director of Old Court Savings & Loan, pleaded guilty today to a criminal information charging him with two counts of theft and fraudulent misappropriation from the defunct Baltimore thrift.
Under the terms of a plea bargain agreement between Feinberg and the state, Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs recommended that Circuit Court Judge Edward J. Angeletti sentence Feinberg to eight years in prison. Feinberg also agreed to cooperate in the state's investigation of Old Court and to return more than $1 million to the state, which will ultimately be distributed to Old Court depositors. The charges carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1,000 fine.
Angeletti said today he will defer sentencing until Feinberg has fulfilled his obligation to cooperate with the state's investigation of Old Court.
Feinberg, who also served as president of several Old Court subsidiaries, is the second figure associated with the thrift to plead guilty to criminal charges. Former Old Court president Jeffrey A. Levittpleaded guilty Tuesday to 25 charges of embezzlement and misappropriation of $14.7 million in Old Court funds. He is to be sentenced July 2.
Deputy Attorney General Charles O. Monk II predicted today that Feinberg's cooperation would be "very helpful" to the state's investigation into other persons associated with the thrift, where a run on deposits a year ago triggered a statewide crisis in the $9 billion savings and loan industry.
An 11-page statement of facts presented to the court today by state prosecutors described Feinberg as a "knowing and active participant in the theft and misappropriation of Old Court funds" and detailed the diversion of almost $2 million in fees and insider loans to Feinberg and businesses in which he had an interest.
In addition, the statement of facts said that Feinberg had served as a "willing conduit" for the payment of large loans and fees to other Old Court insiders including Levitt and Jerome Cardin, a minority owner of Old Court who is under investigation but who has not been indicted.
The statement described a number of transactions in which Feinberg facilitated the payment of substantial "fraudulent" fees to Levitt from the thrift and its subsidiaries, including a $50,000 fee from Ocean City, Md., developer Walter Otstot. An associate of Levitt, Otstot has previously been indicted on charges related to his dealings with the thrift.
"These illegal acts were done at the direction of Jeffrey Levitt, but with Mr. Feinberg's full concurrence," concluded the statement.