An attorney for a small, independent union of ballet dancers and stagehands pleaded guilty Thursday to falsifying reports about more than $350,000 in checks he wrote to himself, his law firm and his ex-wife, from the union account. Leonard Leibowitz faces up to 1 year in federal prison at his Oct. 14 sentencing.
Leibowitz represented the Independent Artists of America, a union of about 80 dancers and stagehands at Lincoln Center’s American Ballet Theatre. Union members paid a total of about $80,000 a year in dues, and Leibowitz controlled the account.
“In 1997, Leibowitz told a union official he was having financial difficulties and obtained an advance on his monthly retainer,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “It was later discovered that Leibowitz wrote IAA checks totaling more than $350,000 to himself, his law firm, and his former wife.”