Criminal Justice

A former partner at Hunton & Williams and Willkie Farr & Gallagher has been sentenced to five years in prison for a phony invoice scheme that bilked her firms out of about $7.8 million.

Keila Ravelo, 52, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, was sentenced on Wednesday, nearly a year after her guilty plea to tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The New Jersey Law Journal has coverage; a press release is here.

Ravelo was accused of acting with her husband, Melvin Feliz, to create phony companies and submit invoices to her firms for litigation support work that was never performed. Ravelo approved the invoice payments, and she and Feliz used the money for personal expenses, prosecutors had alleged.

Ravelo was disbarred this summer, retroactive to her November 2017 guilty plea, Bloomberg Law reported at the time. She has argued that her husband initiated the scheme, and he had manipulated her. She contended she wasn’t aware of the scheme until 2012, at which point she covered up the fraud.

Feliz pleaded guilty in August 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of tax evasion in the billing scheme. The guilty plea was entered after he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

Feliz was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the drug crimes, and he agreed to a four-year sentence for the invoice scheme that will be served apart from the drug sentence, according to the New Jersey Law Journal.