Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Levin Enters Not Guilty Plea on Fraud, Conspiracy Counts

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Levin Enters Not Guilty Plea on Fraud, Conspiracy Counts

Article excerpt

Howard Levine of Oklahoma City pleaded not guilty Thursday to 56 criminal counts of securities fraud and one criminal count of conspiracy to violate the Oklahoma Securities Act, with respect to his alleged participation in promoting "boiler room" sales of oil and gas well partnerships, in an arraignment hearing before Special Judge Allen McCall in Comanche County District Court, authorities said.

Levine was set free after posting a $10,000 bond, according to Assistant District Attorney Fred Smith. He was accompanied by Carl Hughes, his attorney, also of Oklahoma City. Levine has a Florida license to practice law, but is not licensed to practice in Oklahoma, according to court documents.

Levine is affiliated with the Oklahoma City law firm, Levine & Associates, owned and run by his brother, James Levine, also an attorney.

James Levine and his law practice also are defendants in this criminal lawsuit. James Levine has an Oklahoma license to practice law, court records showed.

James Levine also pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing on Jan. 2 in Comanche County District Court. He was free after posting a $7,500 bond, Smith said.

The Oklahoma Securities Commission is the plaintiff in the 57-count criminal lawsuit, which was filed Dec. 23, 1986.

In the alleged scam, about 600 investors nationwide have lost about $4 million on purchases of partnerships in oil and gas wells - some of which were never hooked up to pipelines, according to court documents.

The sales were made between May 1985 and May 1986. On May 27, 1986, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against the oil and gas partnerships and their participants, putting them out of business, according to Spencer Barasch, associate general counsel with the Oklahoma Securities Commission. …

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