By  on March 5, 2002

NEW YORK -- Apparel industry veteran Elliot M. Lavigne is in negotiations with the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn over restitution issues connected to his July 2001 guilty plea to charges that he conspired to launder $8 million in illicit gains from his participation in schemes to manipulate 25 initial public offerings.

Lavigne's sentencing date has been put off several times due to the ongoing negotiations, according to law enforcement officials. A new date is set for March 15, but could be delayed again.

Lavigne, 49, faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. Under federal sentencing guidelines, his estimated prison term could be between 37 and 46 months, subject to court approval. As part of his plea, Lavigne agreed to give up $1 million in illicit gains and faces up to $8 million in restitution.

Lavigne's career has included stints at Salant, Designer Holdings, Jordache Enterprises and Fubu Ladies. His company, O.O.C., currently holds the Sean John license for men's underwear and loungewear.

The November 2000 indictment against Lavigne arose from IPOs underwritten by Stratton Oakmont Inc., the broker-dealer firm that was shut down in December 1996. The collapse of the firm is the same one that led to the June 2000 indictment of Steven Madden, then chief executive officer of the footwear design firm bearing his name. Trades made in Lavigne's account include the 1993 IPO of Steve Madden Ltd.

Madden was charged with stock manipulation of 22 IPOs, including the one that took his own firm public. He pled guilty in May 2001 and agreed to forfeit $3 million and pay at least $5.18 million in restitution. Madden is also awaiting sentencing and, according to federal guideline estimates, faces jail time of between 41 and 51 months, subject to court approval.

Early in the Lavigne case, the government won court approval to have Lavigne subjected to periodic drug testing as a condition of his release, even though he had already posted a $900,000 bond. Separately, in a partial settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC obtained an order barring Lavigne from serving as an officer or director of a public company, and assessing civil money penalties.

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