Noted magic dealer pleads guilty to US federal charges

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Noted magic dealer Harry Levy (aka Hank Lee), long-time owner of Hank Lee's Magic Factory in Massachusetts, pled guilty last week to US federal charges involving repeated credit card fraud. Reportedly, Mr. Levy defrauded a wealthy Texas man in excess of $500,000 between 2009 and 2011 by making false charges on the man's American Express card.

The top hat is seen as an iconic symbol for magic and performing magicians.
Image: Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon.

According to a release by the US Attorney's office, Mr. Levy faces up to 20 years in prison, plus additional remedies for his actions. On Saturday, Mr. Levy sent a letter to members of his customer base, apologizing for his actions.

Cquote1.svg I am publicly apologizing and have separated myself from the business I love. Cquote2.svg

—Hank Lee

In part, the letter read, "I did a really bad thing, and there's no turning the clock back. My actions have affected myself, my family, my friends, my business and the magic community which has supported me for the past 37 years. It was stupid and senseless and the worst thing I have ever done in my life. I am publicly apologizing and have separated myself from the business I love."

Court documents reveal Levy willfully lied to investigators and created false invoices to portray that individuals from other countries had wrongly used the victim's credit card number to make purchases.

Documents released last week indicate that the US attorney trying the case has agreed to waive prosecution of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft against Levy in exchange for his cooperation in the case. Other documents also indicated that Levy's personal assets have been frozen. As a part of his agreement, Levy must pay back (as a minimum) the amount stolen from the victim.


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