Former Old Court president becomes a $5.50-an-hour clerk today Work site isn't revealed because of threats against him

January 05, 1993|By William F. Zorzi Jr. | William F. Zorzi Jr.,Staff Writer

Jeffrey A. Levitt, the savings and loan swindler sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing $14.6 million from his own thrift, is scheduled to begin a $5.50-an-hour clerical job today on work-release.

Levitt, the 50-year-old former president of the now-defunct Old Court Savings and Loan, is to be paroled in November.

In the clerical job, he will be working 35.5 hours a week at a restaurant supply-type business in the Baltimore area, but correction officials refused to say specifically where.

Cpl. J. Scott McCauley said the Division of Correction was not releasing the name or location of the business because of safety and security concerns for both Levitt and the employer -- as well as potential liability for the state in the event someone acts against Levitt.

l Levitt, whose ostentatious lifestyle was paid for in part with money he stole from Old Court, has been threatened over the years, and "that animosity and threats still linger," Corporal McCauley said.

He has been the target of anger from Old Court depositors, many of whom waited years to get their money after the state became the receiver of the thrift -- the first step in the collapse of Maryland's savings and loan industry in May 1985.

Corporal McCauley also said correction officials were advised by the attorney general's office that the place of employment for an inmate on work release is considered part of the inmate's "base file" and is confidential.

The attorney general's office often claims information is part of an inmate's base file, which prevents its release to the public.

Levitt will pay $80.89 out of his weekly take-home pay to the Division of Correction to pay for pre-release services, such as room and board, at the Baltimore Pre-release Unit on Greenmount Avenue.

Inmates on work-release traditionally turn over about one-third of their pay for the services.

The employer will provide transportation to and from the job, Corporal McCauley said.

After 30 days, Correction Commissioner Richard A. Lanham Sr. will consider Levitt for the home-detention program in which prison officials keep track of an inmate's whereabouts with electronic monitoring equipment, Corporal McCauley said.

Levitt, granted parole by the Maryland Parole Commission in November, will not be released from prison until November, after serving 7 1/2 years -- 25 percent -- of his sentence of 30 years, three months and 28 days.

Under the terms of his parole, he will be required to perform 2,000 hours of community service and pay all court-ordered restitution.

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