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Needleman Search Nets More Than $600,000

April 21, 2011

Stanley H. Needleman (left) with Jose Morales. PHOTO: RARAH

Investigators with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations Division seized more than $600,000 from attorney Stanley Needleman’s office and home in searches conducted last week, two people familiar with the operation confirm. They were not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.

The law enforcement agents found some $120,000 in cash in his Pikesville home, and about half a million dollars in Needleman’s office safe at 1005 N. Calvert St. “That safe was so full, you couldn’t put another dollar in it,” one person familiar with the investigation said.

Searches of lawyers’ offices are legally delicate. Because of attorney-client privilege, raids like this require approval of the Justice Department’s Policy and Statutory Enforcement Unit in Washington, D.C.

Justice Department guidelines say prosecutors must use the “least intrusive” method to gather evidence against a lawyer targeted in a criminal investigation.

The raid on Needleman’s office was first reported by the Sun April 14. City Paper noted that his former client, Jose Morales, had put the feds onto him years ago–and that the feds, in open court, said they found those allegations unpersuasive. Unreported was that Agents also hit Needleman’s home, on Englemead Road in Baltimore County, at the same time they searched his law offices. No drugs were found during the searches, sources said, and it is unclear what other alleged evidence, if any, was seized. As of this writing no charges have been filed.