MANHATTAN LAWYER SENTENCED TO PRISON
FOR OVERBILLING FDIC, RTC $1.4 MILLION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PR-94-97 (12-11-97)
Media Contact: Patrick I. Noble (202-416-2912)
FDIC Inspector General Gaston L. Gianni, Jr., today announced that
William F. Duker, former managing partner of the Manhattan law firm of
Duker & Barrett, was sentenced December 10 to a prison term of 33
months for defrauding the FDIC and the Resolution Trust Corporation
(RTC) of about $1.4 million in overbillings through his law firm.
Duker was also sentenced to two years supervised release and fined
$7,500. His prison term begins on February 2.
Prior to being sentenced, Duker paid the U.S. government $2.58
million under a settlement agreement covering criminal restitution and
civil damages. As part of the same agreement, Barrett & Gravante, LLP
(the successor law firm to Duker & Barrett) paid the government
another $349,000 on December 10.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation
with the assistance of the FDIC's Office of Inspector General. The
case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney's Office for the
Southern District of New York.
Duker pled guilty on August 21 to a four-count information charging
him with mail fraud, false claims, false statements and obstructing a
Duker & Barrett was retained by the FDIC and the RTC in September
1990 to perform legal work relating to the savings and loan crisis of
the 1980s. According to the charges, in November 1990 Duker began
submitting bills to the FDIC and the RTC that substantially inflated
the hours of work performed by the law firm's staff. The information
alleged that he carried out his scheme by making handwritten notations
on draft bills that directed the firm's office manager to increase the
hours reported for individual attorneys, generally by one to four
hours per day.
The scheme spanned 26 months, during which Duker inflated the firm's
bills by about $1.4 million. During this time, Duker earned as much
as $5 million annually, and received up to 80 percent of the firm's
According to the charges, Duker ended his scheme in early 1993 after
learning that the firm would soon be audited by the FDIC's and the
RTC's Offices of Inspector General. Duker took steps to conceal his
overbilling scheme from the auditors, including destroying some
original time cards of firm attorneys and causing the firm's office
manager to make false statements to an auditor.
Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to
restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC
insures deposits at the nation's 11,027 banks and savings associations
and it promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by
identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are
FDIC press releases and other information are available on the
Internet via the World Wide Web at www.fdic.gov/news and may also
be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (800-276-6003
or (703) 562-2200).