Billionaire Gets 2 Months for Hiding $10M In Swiss Bank Accounts

Billionaire Gets 2 Months for Hiding $10M In Swiss Bank Accounts

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Who is George Landegger?  George Landegger is a 78 year old businessman who was the former CEO of Parsons & Whittemore, a paper mill company.  He is worth close to a billion dollars.  Yet he maintained a secret Swiss bank account for almost a decade.  The account fluctuated with amounts reaching close to ten million dollars.  He hid almost ten million dollars of assets from the government for almost ten years.  Leona Helmsley once said, “only the little people pay taxes.”  George’s case was not much different than Leona’s case.  Leona committed tax evasion in the amount of eight million dollars.  She used money from her hotel empire to pay for renovations at her Greenwich mansion.  Leona did 19 months in Federal prison.  Leona was known as the “Queen of Mean.”  George, on the other hand, engaged in a lifetime of philanthropic work.  He started many non-profit organizations that focused on poverty, abuse to women and education.

George had a very young girlfriend who used to come to prison every week to visit her suger daddy.  She is a tall thin blueblood blond who is younger than George’s daughter.

While in prison George played alot of tennis.  He was pretty good for a 78 year old guy.  He often played with David Blech, the former billionaire biotech king, or the “dethroned biotech king,” as the New York Times refers to him.  David Blech, or “DB” as the inmates called him, is doing about four years for securities fraud.

George lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut. I grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut, which wasn’t too far from Ridgefield.  I had some conversations with George about Ridgefield.  George said he was the only guy in Ridgefield who didn’t have a vowel at the end of his name.  He said Ridgefield is mostly populated by “those Italians.”  Italian immigrants moved to Ridgefield in the early part of the twentieth century in order to build roads and buildings, and ended up staying there, building up a big community.  There was a young hedge fund guy locked up with us who was also from Ridgefield.  His last name was Pereira.  But I think he was Portuguese, not Italian.

George is an elitist. In prison he thought he was living on the plantation.  Although he only spent two months in Camp Otisville, it doesn’t take very long for your true colors to come out, especially when you have 118 guys watching your every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.   George had a Black inmate who helped train him in the prison gym, ie., a “personal trainer.”  Guys said George treated this Black man like his personal slave.  The name of this 35 year old Black man, who is doing ten years, is Edward Whitney. You are probably thinking that Ed must have killed a guy in order to get ten years.  Think again.  Ed had a drug charge with a prior felony conviction on his record.  The draconian mandatory minimum sentence for Ed was ten years.  The judge said he didn’t have a choice but to reluctantly sentence Ed to ten years. The government didn’t look for an enhanced sentence.  Nor did the government dispute that Ed overcame many obstacles in his life. Ed’s father was a violent man who abused drugs and alcohol.  Ed’s mother abused drugs and alcohol and spent three years in prison.  Ed’s father was murdered when Ed was only twenty years old.  Ed lived in a neighborhood plagued with guns, gangs and violence.  In spite of growing up in such a harsh environment, Ed graduated high school and was active in high school sports.  Ed held down a steady job for years.  Ed submitted a letter from his employer attesting that Ed was a “responsible and considerate individual” and a “dedicated employee and a great asset to the company.”   Selling drugs was not Ed’s full time occupation.  Ed has a long term girlfriend and is the proud father of two daughters. In prison Ed is an exceptional inmate. Prison takes a mental toll on everyone.  But guys like Ed stand out.  Guys like Ed are able to control their anger and stay out of trouble. At sentencing Ed submitted a stack of certificates of completion of various prison educational programs.  I lived with Ed for 17 months. Ed was an easy going guy, and always a pleasure to be around.  Nobody ever had a problem with Ed. Not the officers. Not the inmates.

Meanwhile, George Landegger was blessed with the best opportunities life had to offer. George graduated from Georgetown University and was a lieutenant in the United States Army.  George was groomed in the family business and achieved huge financial success. You would think that a man such as George, in his 70s, would appreciate that his success and wealth was due to opportunities that most people in this country do not enjoy. But George has no such appreciation.  George has no respect for the laws of this country.  Over a ten year period George broke the law.  George actively hid millions of dollars of income and assets from the government.  This is a man who served in the military. George was taught to respect and obey the law.  George did not grow up in an environment ruled by gangs and plagued with alcoholism, drug addiction and violence.  George and Ed both broke the law. George repetitively broke the law over a ten year period.  Yet George got locked up for two months while Ed still has many years to go on a ten year bid….


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