The High Court

March 27, 2015

City Paper

In December, 2013, the City Paper reported, “Two men want detectives made famous by David Simon to pay after flawed murder convictions put them in prison for decades.”

After a significant victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in one of those cases, the Baltimore Police Department and its Detectives have appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court.  The latest phase of the litigation was covered in today’s Maryland Daily Record.  This link to the article is for subscribers only, but we’ll post the reprint as soon as we get it.

News that Fits


March 19, 2015

As fans complete their March Madness bracket sheets for their office pools, many will wonder, if only fleetingly, is this legal?  While we will not opine on the legality of such endeavors in this post, we draw your attention to at least one prosecutor’s office that thinks otherwise.  Fox News reports that a New Jersey man faces criminal prosecution after the pool he managed grew to an $837,000 pot and payouts were being made to the Genovese crime family.  It seems the Know Your Customer rules apply to those running sports brackets as well as banks.

Federal Criminal Law

March 4, 2015


The Washington Post reports how an FBI agent was able to procure drugs to feed his heroin addiction – by skimming them from bags seized as evidence in criminal cases.  Our own Steve Levin is quoted in the article, “It’s shocking that there was such little oversight,” said Steven H. Levin, a private lawyer in Baltimore with 10 years’ experience as a federal prosecutor. “It’s something you would expect to see on a made-for-TV movie. . . . You’re thinking, there is no way that could ever happen. And that’s what happened.”

In a related story, “Man Figures He Has 2 More Bites of Roommate’s Leftovers Before It’s Noticeable.

US Attorney’s Office, Maryland – News

Carmen Johnson Convicted On Charges Related To Two Separate Residential Mortgage Fraud Schemes that occurred almost 10 years ago.

Chief Engineer Of Car-Carrier Vessel Sentenced To Prison For Obstruction Of Justice In Marine Oil Pollution Case (at least this conduct occurred within the last few years…)

Conspirator Indicted In $3.9 Million Fraud Scheme

Baltimore Woman Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison In Credit Card Fraud Scheme

Randallstown Man Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison In Counterfeit Check Cashing And Credit Card Skimming Schemes (Real time for fake cash)

Texas Man Sentenced For Illegal Export Of Night Vision Devices (I’m guessing he didn’t see that coming).

International Criminal Law


February 20, 2015

Here at Levin & Curlett, we keep an eye on the global tumult that may lead to international criminal proceedings in The Hague, whether before the International Criminal Court of one of the ad hoc Tribunals.

Of late, our attention, as well as the world at large, has been focused on the Islamic State (or ISIL, or ISIS, or Da’esh, depending on whom you ask).  This week the United Nations Security Counsel expressly condemned the murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya.  “The members of the Council further emphasized that such ‘continued acts of barbarism perpetrated’ by ISIL do not intimidate them but rather stiffen their resolve that there has to be a common effort amongst Governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, ‘to counter ISIL, Ansar Al Sharia entities…and all other…entities associated with Al-Qaida,’ as the Council resolved in its resolutions 2170 (2014) and 2199 (2015), adopted just last week.” Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also condemned the actions.

Whether through military engagement or the mechanism of international criminal justice, or both, the threat must be checked.