I hired Michael Ziton to defend me against false money laundering accusations. Instead of defending my innocence, he brokered a deal with the DA even before any charges or discovery took place, a deal that would have resulted in years of prison time and forfeiture of millions of dollars that I did not have. He told me the deal was a ???gift???, and that I should ???think of my wife and family???. He demanded tens of thousands in additional fees during the course of his efforts, and deceived me into paying them ??? outside of our existing written contract. Mr. Ziton accused me of ???turning my head away??? from criminal activity ??? my own attorney falsely accused me of criminal activity ??? holy cow! He appeared to believe all of the DA???s accusations regardless of what I had to say, based on extremely weak evidence.
Fortunately, I eventually fired him after paying well over 100k in legal expenses to him and his partner, and found another attorney to undo the damage already caused by Michael Ziton. My new attorney was anxious to actively defend me against the false accusations and his efforts resulted in no charges ever being filed. My new attorney also informed me that many of the things I was told by Michael Ziton previously were simply not true; ???should have known??? is
not good enough for a money laundering conviction, ???no one wins against the feds??? ??? my new attorney does, etc..
What I learned from this experience is never hire the first attorney you find on the Internet ??? even if under severe duress. My mistake almost cost me years of prison time and an unbelievable forfeiture, because in my opinion, Mr. Ziton was far more interested in lining his pockets than providing the defense I hired him for.