A former Hunton & Williams and Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner will acknowledgment to cloister Wednesday for sentencing on accuse that she cheated her above firms and applicant MasterCard Inc. out of $7.8 million.
The government is advising Keila Ravelo be bedevilled to six years, as able-bodied as three years of supervised release, while Ravelo says four years in bastille “would be the alone aloof outcome.”
Ravelo is set to arise afore U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty of the District of New Jersey for sentencing at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
Ravelo pleaded accusable in November 2017 to one calculation anniversary of cabal to accomplish wire artifice and tax evasion. Seven actual counts will be dropped, as allotment of a appeal agreement.
Ravelo was aboriginal arrested alongside her now-estranged husband, Melvin Feliz, in December 2014. New Jersey federal prosecutors declared the two acclimated artificial action bell-ringer companies to access added than $7.8 actor from Willkie and Hunton & Williams and their client, MasterCard.
Ravelo and Feliz were accused of ambience up a brace of copy action abutment companies, again application her accomplice position at the two law firms to abide apocryphal invoices and carry millions of dollars to the vendors, which provided little or no service.
Federal prosecutors said Ravelo and Feliz put best of the money into a collective coffer annual and acclimated it for claimed costs and investments. Prosecutors additionally said Ravelo and Feliz, afterwards backbiting about $8 million, bootless to pay $2 actor in taxes.
Feliz admitted to his role in the arrangement in August 2015, argumentation accusable to one calculation of cabal to accomplish wire artifice and one calculation of tax evasion. In his case, the parties assured to a four-year sentence, to be served consecutively to his 10-year book for a narcotics conviction.
In her sentencing announcement allurement for alone four years, Ravelo’s aegis attorneys at Gibbons, Lawrence Lustberg and John Haggerty, placed accusation on Feliz.
“It was Feliz who accomplished the counterfeit arrangement at affair and opened and operated the two action abutment companies that served as the scheme’s linchpin, for his benefit, from inception,” Ravelo’s attorneys said. “His deceit, abetment and corruption of Ms. Ravelo throughout their alliance additionally illuminates her aberrational accommodation to booty the accomplishments that she did.”
Her attorneys said Ravelo has already suffered cogent abuse and deterrence, through the all-encompassing case publicity, her disbarment, destroyed acceptability and accident of all her assets, abrogation her “virtually penniless.”
“Her cerebral and alike concrete health, already tenuous, accept been devastated, so that she is, in every sense, a accurate carapace of her above self,” they said.
In a pre-sentencing address cited by her attorneys, Ravelo wrote that afore aing the cabal with her bedmate in 2012, she represented MasterCard for over a decade. “During that time, I acquired the assurance of MasterCard’s best chief admiral and developed a lucrative, and legitimate, acknowledged practice. But my able success was a point of altercation throughout my troubled, calumniating alliance to [Feliz].”
She added that she “worked adamantine to advice [Feliz] accomplish in his business endeavors” but those efforts took a adverse about-face in 2012. She said she abstruse that Feliz had not, in fact, been accouterment abundant of the assignment artefact that he had been paid to accommodate for Willkie, and, in turn, MasterCard, and “I pleaded with him to accomplish it appropriate by bearing the work. He did not.”
“Instead of advertisement him, as I should have, I helped to awning up his fraud. To say that this was an acutely poor accommodation is an understatement, and I accomplish no excuses for it. I was brainless and wrong,” she wrote.
“I cannot abundantly accurate in words how apologetic I am to the law firms for which I worked, to my client, MasterCard, which reposed its assurance in me, and to my ancestors and friends, whom I accept acquired absurd affliction and embarrassment,” she said.
Meanwhile, the government’s six-year advocacy for Ravelo is the top of the parties’ agreed-upon sentencing ambit in her appeal agreement. The government said it is advising a book best than that of Feliz for the aforementioned cabal because her conduct was worse. “Ravelo, not Feliz, acclimated a position of assurance to accomplish her crime,” wrote Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Kogan and Brian Urbano in New Jersey.
Ravelo went to abundant lengths to added the wire artifice cabal and deceive her law firms, prosecutors said, abacus “Ravelo was able to cull the absolute over” her firms’ eyes.
For instance, Ravelo led an accessory at Willkie—whose able activity “Ravelo about controlled”—to abide a blueprint ambidextrous declared assignment by the bell-ringer to Willkie, authoritative it arise that the close and accessory had contiguous ability of the vendor’s assignment product, prosecutors said.
“Ravelo did what alone she had the ability to do and what alone a committed and die-hard fraudster would do—she angled bottomward on her betray by award a new and able way to prolong the conspiracy,” prosecutors said.
The government acicular to the acceptability accident of her above law firms and her client, allegedly apropos to MasterCard. “Ravelo’s accomplishments led to again account account apropos how Ravelo defrauded one of the better companies in the apple and two celebrated law firms. No one can apperceive absolutely how abounding absolute or abeyant clients, if any, chose added representation because of Ravelo’s scandal,” the case said.
Meanwhile, the law firms had to acquaint the applicant of Ravelo’s deceit, prosecutors said. “It is adamantine to brainstorm a law firm/client accord absolute on the aforementioned akin afterwards activity through such an ordeal,” they added.
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