Jeffrey A. Levitt, the imprisoned former president of Old Court Savings & Loan Association, was indicted by a New York grand jury yesterday on 16 felony and misdemeanor charges for his role in a failed scheme to sell condominium units on Long Island, law enforcement officials announced.
In a joint statement, the offices of New York Attorney General Robert Abrams and the Nassau County, N.Y., district attorney said Levitt and three other persons were indicted on charges of fraud, perjury and other crimes in connection with a plan to sell condominium units early last year in Glen Cove, N.Y., about 20 miles from Manhattan.
A fifth person, Alan August, pleaded guilty Monday to three misdemeanor violations of New York securities law for his role in the project, authorities said. August, a New York real estate developer who once borrowed heavily from Old Court for his commercial ventures, was president of Village Green Realty at Garvies Point Inc., which was to provide key financing for construction of the condominiums in Glen Cove.
The project, known as Gatsby's Landing, was never built.
David M. Fishlow, a spokesman for the New York attorney general, said the case revolves around documents that the defendants submitted to Abrams' office between late 1984 and May 1985, when Old Court collapsed.
Old Court, once one of the largest state-chartered savings and loan associations in Maryland, collapsed after reports of Levitt's mismanagement triggered depositor runs that brought the state's thrift industry to the brink of failure.
Levitt pleaded guilty on May 27 to Maryland charges that he embezzled and misappropriated nearly $15 million from Old Court and is in prison awaiting sentencing, scheduled for July 2.
Law enforcement sources in New York said it was extremely unlikely that they would seek Levitt's extradition to face charges in that state. "He's in jail and will be for a while to come, we understand," said one New York official. "Nobody here is in a hurry to extradite him."
In documents filed in New York, Levitt identified himself as a "shareholder-sponsor" of Village Green Realty but concealed Old Court's planned financial backing for the condominium project at a time when the Baltimore savings association was technically "insolvent," Fishlow said.
In a separate, sworn document, Levitt also told New York authorities that he had never been the subject of any "professional discipline." The Maryland Court of Appeals had suspended him from the practice of law for one year in 1979 for having lied to a Baltimore judge.
The indictments against Levitt charge him with five counts of submitting false real estate documents and three counts of making apparently false statements under oath. Conviction on any count can carry a penalty of up to four years in prison. Levitt also was indicted on eight misdemeanor counts of real estate securities fraud, each of which carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison on conviction.