United States v. Fisch, No. 15-20663 (5th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Defendant Abraham Fisch, a criminal defense attorney, was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, money laundering, and tax evasion. Defendant and Lloyd Williams, a former FBI informant, would approach defendants who had criminal charges pending against them and told the defendants to pay them large sums of money as purported legal fees. Fisch and Williams promised to use the money to pay off federal officials but, in actuality, had no such government contacts. The court concluded that the evidence was sufficient to convict defendant of the offenses; Fisch failed to make out a Fifth Amendment violation based on the denial of a hearing regarding the lis pendens on his home; Fisch failed to establish a Sixth Amendment violation by the government's seeking a lis pendens on his home as an asset traceable to his criminal proceeds; Fisch failed to make the requisite showing of prosecutorial misconduct; the court rejected Fisch's challenges to the jury instructions; and the court rejected Fisch's challenges to the district court's post-trial forfeiture orders. The court declined to address Fisch's ineffective assistance of counsel claims on direct appeal. Accordingly, the court affirmed as to all issues except the denial of Fisch's ineffective assistance of counsel claims.