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.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.