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Lawyer pleads guilty in scheme to interfere with court restitution

A Long Island attorney pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding for serving as an intermediary in a scheme to interfere with a court-ordered securities fraud restitution payment involving two other men.

Prosecutors said the two men jointly owed $12.7 million in restitution based on guilty pleas in 2011 and 2012. The lawyer, Mark Weissman, 55, of Lawrence, was accused of passing along a threat from one of the men to disclose incriminating information unless the other paid him $6 million.

Weissman was charged in the plot last year with Andrew Tepfer, who pleaded guilty to securities charges involving a company called Spongetech in 2012, and was liable for $12.7 million in restitution as part of his sentence. Tepfer has pleaded not guilty. The alleged victim was not named.

“With today’s guilty plea, Weissman has been held responsible for attempting to impede the execution of a restitution judgment that was to be paid to victims of a massive fraud,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue.

Weissman faces up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said. His sentencing was set for Nov. 4 before U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry. A lawyer for Weissman did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday evening.

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