April 12, 2001 (PITTSBURGH) – A convicted swindler blames his lawyer for the loss of his fortune and his prison sentence and has filed a lawsuit seeking damages.
John Gardner Black claims that lawyer Richard Levan advised him to agree to a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission because he wanted to get paid, not because it was the best course. Black’s assets were frozen.
Black was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison last year for defrauding local governments in Pennsylvania of $71 million. He argues that as a municipal investment adviser he was not under the jurisdiction of the SEC and says that Levan, a former SEC attorney, should have known that.
When he represented Black, Levan was a member of a Philadelphia law firm.