Friday, November 11, 2016


Alan Koslow, a prominent Broward County attorney, was sentenced this week to one year and one day in Federal Prison for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, in a money laundering case. Koslow, who was stung in an FBI  operation, thought he was cleaning illegal gambling and drug profits. Initially arrested in September, 2013, he spent three years covertly rendering substantial assistance to law enforcement.

It is not known if he was required to wear electronic recording devices, or work undercover, but those are customary requirements of cooperating individuals who are seeking to minimize their ultimate sentences. A former Hollywood, Florida City Attorney, Koslow admitted to having a substance abuse problem; he successfully completed rehabilitation after his arrest, and prior to sentencing.

An Information was not filed until early 2016, meaning that Koslow carried that secret around with him for just under three years, not something that any lawyer would wish to bear. He was charged with defrauding the US, and not money laundering,  which was a decision by the US Attorney, most likely due to his cooperation over an extended period of time. We do not know the details of that cooperation, but since Grand Jury secrecy was mentioned, it is assumed that his assistance has, or is expected to, lead to Federal indictments.

Due to his substantial assistance, he avoided a possible three or four year sentence for money laundering conspiracy, but the three years he worked with law enforcement were most likely
extremely stressful, possibly dangerous, and not the sort of activity for the faint at heart. He earned the short sentence by taking actions that are not recommended, under any circumstances. Espionage may look exciting when you see it on television, but up close and personal, it only appeals to those who relish taking risks.

 Perhaps all the lawyers who are tempted, by clients, to earn "fast money," by cleaning dirty cash, might want to imagine what Koslow's life was like, during the time he was secretly obtaining incriminating information from targets, usually accomplished through close personal contact. If there was ever a person who might be a poster boy for deterrence, Mr. Koslow is surely the candidate.

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