The Abyss of Ruination
Back in September, I wrote about Maryland criminal defense attorney Stanley Needleman. Needleman had pleaded guilty to income tax evasion and structuring financial transactions.
Last week, he faced sentencing. The Baltimore City Paper reports Needleman will spend one year in federal prison. He also agreed to pay back taxes totaling over $660,000.
Needleman represented drug dealers, including Jose Morales. Back in 2008, Morales had been released on a $30,000 cash bond. Apparently, Needleman supplied Morales the money. No, a lawyer cannot provide financial assistance to a client. In an effort to pay Needleman back, Morales was caught shortly thereafter attempting to charter a jet to fly to Baltimore with several kilos of cocaine.
At his sentencing hearing, Needleman pleaded for mercy:
If I had the power to leap backwards and freeze frame the hands of time, I would. Since April of this year, I am an emotional and intellectual zombie.
Being a lawyer invigorated my very being as a human being. Now as you look at me, I dwell in the abyss of ruination.
No matter how impassioned with regret, one engaging in criminal activity with clients will not be overlooked by a federal judge. Needleman’s abyss will only seem more bottomless when he begins to serve the time.