Archive for the ‘attorney indicted’ Category

Bucks lawyer indicted on tax, ID theft charges

October 23, 2013

A Bucks County lawyer was indicted for allegedly defrauding a client’s estate of more than $1.7 million, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia said Thursday.

Randolph Scott, 70, of Doylestown, Pa., who maintained his own law firm in Warrington, was charged with one count of mail fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of tax evasion, one count of attempting to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws and three counts of failure to file income tax returns.

According to the indictment, between December 2005 and October 2011, while representing the estate of John C. Bready, Scott diverted approximately $1.76 million of estate funds to his law office accounts. Because the estate was valued at more than $6 million at the time of Bready’s death in 2005, federal law required that a federal estate tax return be filed which would have resulted in approximately $520,351 being paid to the Internal Revenue Service. The indictment alleges that Scott purposefully failed to file the required form in order to keep enough money in the estate to pay its beneficiaries and to avoid detection of the theft.

Prosecutors also said after the estate’s executor died in 2009, Scott failed to disclose the death so that the investment account manager would continue to send the executor’s checks to Scott’s law firm. Scott then allegedly forged the executor’s signature and deposited the checks into his law firm’s account. Prosecutors said Scott also had the successor executor sign a document renouncing the position of successor executor so that Scott could continue to forge the signature of the deceased executor and divert money belonging to the estate.

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Bucks lawyer indicted on tax, ID theft charges

TBI case against Franklin County attorney appointed to conservatorship results in theft indictment

September 23, 2013

CHATTANOOGA – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s case into a Franklin County attorney assigned by a court to be a conservator over the estate of a woman in failing health resulted in an indictment by the Franklin County grand jury. He surrendered to authorities this afternoon.

Joseph Bean Jr., 41, of Winchester, was indicted on one count of theft or property over $10,000. Between October of 2009 and March of 2012, Bean, who was the court appointed conservator over the estate of the victim, stole more than $42,000 from her conservatorship account. Bean made payments from the victim’s conservatorship account to his American Express account, Bank of America mortgage account, a Community Bank loan account and his Toyota Motors account. Bean was appointed the conservatorship of the victim’s estate due to her failing health. He was the sole party with authorized access to her account to pay her bills and other financial obligations. The victim of the theft is now deceased.

In May of 2013, the 12th Judicial District Attorney General’s office requested TBI to investigate the theft after the attorney over the victim’s estate reported it to him. Bean was booked today into the Franklin County Jail on $7,500 bond.

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TBI case against Franklin County attorney appointed to conservatorship results in theft indictment

Former attorney indicted on felony charges

September 5, 2013

A former Upper Arlington lawyer faces a range of charges for allegedly forging documents and collecting death benefits intended for a minor child.

Lindsey T. Burt, 33, of Berwyn Road, was indicted Aug. 27 on felony charges of theft, forgery, tampering with records and money-laundering.

As of ThisWeek Upper Arlington News‘ press time, Burt was slated to appear in Franklin County Common Pleas Court Sept. 11 for arraignment.

The county prosecutor’s office alleges Burt altered documents that were supposed to make Mark Chapa of Texas the legal guardian of his son, a minor who lived in Franklin County and whose mother had died.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Burt arranged to collect the woman’s Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) death benefits, which were intended to go to the woman’s son.

“(Burt) altered documents to make herself guardian … and to designate the money go into an account controlled by her,” O’Brien said. “She told the natural father she had to be guardian to collect the benefits for him.

“She periodically sent money to (Mark) Chapa in Texas to kind of keep him at bay. She periodically sent him money, but it was not much.”

According to the prosecutor’s office, the criminal activity occurred between April 18, 2008, and April 19, 2013.

During that time, Burt allegedly collected $67,183 from OPERS, but turned over only around $12,000 to the boy’s father.

Burt’s attorney, Bradley Koffel, said Aug. 30 he hadn’t seen the prosecution’s allegations against his client, but added Burt would plead not guilty at the arraignment.

“We need time to digest what the accusations are and have an opportunity to see what the claims are and try to understand them ourselves,” Koffel said. “Lindsey is deeply surprised by these allegations.”

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Former attorney indicted on felony charges

Suspended Florence lawyer indicted on federal charges

August 29, 2013

The United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina announced Wednesday that William Rivers, III of Florence has been charged in a three count indictment with Mail Fraud.

The indictment says between October 2006 to November 2012 Rivers and his late law partner John Schurlknight failed to tell clients when their cases had been settled and failed to pay the clients’ medical providers, but instead forged clients’ signatures on releases and kept all of the money received in the clients’ settlement.

Rivers and Schurlknight were partners at the Schurlknight and Rivers Law Firm in Florence, which is no longer in operation.

Rivers was suspended from practicing law by the South Carolina Supreme Court last December following complaints filed by former clients about missing money.

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Suspended Florence lawyer indicted on federal charges

Personal Injury Lawyer Charged With Masterminding Insurance Fraud Scheme

August 4, 2013

Federal authorities say that a Bridgeport personal injury attorney masterminded an insurance fraud scheme that included an unlicensed doctor and several chiropractors and netted $2.5 million in settlements. Joseph P. Haddad, 65, has been charged with nine federal offenses and is also the target of a civil lawsuit filed by insurance companies.

A federal grand jury indictment was returned July 25. Haddad appeared on August 1 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport, entered a plea of not guilty and was released on a $150,000 bond. Haddad is being represented by New Haven attorney John Williams, who did not return calls seeking comment on Friday, August 2.

Haddad’s arrest stems from “Operation Running Man,” a 14-month undercover fraud investigation headed by the FBI. The investigation included the use of recordings made by an undercover special agent who feigned injury and met with with Haddad and the medical professionals who were reportedly part of the scheme.   

As alleged in the indictment, Haddad, who lives in Orange, and the others defrauded insurance companies by exaggerating the auto accident injuries sustained by Haddad’s clients, and the cost of their medical care, to justify larger monetary settlements with insurance companies. Authorities say more than 10 insurance carriers lost a total of approximately $2.5 million. The Connecticut Post lists Travelers, Metropolitan, Progressive, Esurance and Nationwide as being among those that were defrauded from December 2006 to February 2010.   

In June, Allstate and Deerbrook insurance companies filed a federal civil lawsuit against Haddad and others involved allegedly involved in the scheme. According to the suit, beginning in 2006, Haddad and others began to “defraud Allstate by submitting bils for medical treatment that was unneccessary, worthless, and often based on fictitious clinical findings or diagnosis.”  

The civil case against Haddad is pending. However, last week, the court entered a default judgment for $990,911 in favor of Allstate against Francisco Carbone, a medical doctor whose license had previously been revoked by the state.   

As part of the scheme, federal authorities say, the co-conspirators fabricated medical records, prescribed unnecessary pain medication, performed unnecessary chiropractic treatment, ordered and billed for diagnostic tests of questionable medical value, and overstated injuries or permanent partial disabilities that were allegedly caused by the accidents.   

“This kind of blatant fraud drives up the cost of insurance for all people,” Acting Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly said in a prepared statement. “With the help of the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to uncovering these schemes and prosecuting those who are the most responsible, especially corrupt attorneys and doctors who drive these schemes and profit the most in direct violation of their professional oaths.”   

Kimberly K. Mertz, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the FBI said in the same prepared statement that “the level of detail and orchestration alleged in this conspiracy to defraud automobile insurance companies is wrought with unadulterated greed and avarice.”   

She continued: “As an attorney, Mr. Haddad is an officer of the court and, therefore, privileged and entrusted with upholding its laws and ethical canons. Instead, because of his selfish actions, Mr. Haddad is now a defendant in federal court and faced with some very serious charges.”

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Personal Injury Lawyer Charged With Masterminding Insurance Fraud Scheme

LaPlace Lawyer Indicted for Felony Theft and Forgery

July 25, 2013

A LaPlace lawyer has been indicted in connection with stealing more than $50,000 from multiple clients, one of them elderly, prosecutors said today.

Kerry D. Brown, 42, of 144 East Lakeview Drive, was indicted Monday by a St. John the Baptist Parish grand jury on one count of felony theft, one count of compounding a felony, and six counts of forgery.

An investigation by Louisiana State Police and the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel revealed that Brown, a personal injury attorney, represented clients from October 2010 to April 2011 in several automobile accidents, allegedly failing to notify clients of settlements and failing to give funds to clients who were owed money. Brown surrendered to Louisiana State Police in May 2012 after a warrant for his arrest was issued.

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LaPlace Lawyer Indicted for Felony Theft and Forgery

Manhattan Lawyer Indicted for Stealing $213K From Victim Settlements

April 12, 2013

A thieving Manhattan lawyer used wacky excuses to stall off his victim clients — including that a moose had run into his car, prosecutors said today.

The “moose excuse” didn’t save Brian Reis, 52, from getting indicted for allegedly stealing $213,000 in settlements and retainer fees from four victims.

Reis — a father of four from Morristown, NJ — stole a $90,000 lawsuit settlement from one victim client, then kept him at bay for five years via a series of what DA Cyrus Vance called “preposterous excuses.”

In addition to invoking the imaginary moose, Reis told the client that his car had caught fire and exploded and that his father was in the hospital, according to court papers.

Reis, who was disbarred last month, spent some $640,000 on online gambling since 2007, according to court papers. Assistant district attorney Jose Fanjul told a judge today that prosecutors will seek an at least two-year prison sentence.

“Mr. Reis recognizes his obligations and is making efforts to provide restitution,” his lawyer, Michael Bachner, told reporters after his client pleaded not guilty to scheme to defraud and grand larceny.

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Manhattan Lawyer Indicted for Stealing $213K From Victim Settlements

Attorney indicted for bribing witness

February 20, 2013
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19)- A local attorney has been indicted on allegations that he bribed a witness.
Gregory A. Cohen has been indicted for obstructing justice and bribery.
According to the indictment, Cohen used cash to, “corrupt a witness, or improperly influence him with respect to his testimony in an official proceeding, either before or after he was subpoenaed or sworn, promised or offered, or gave him or another person a valuable thing or valuable benefit.”
Cohen is the attorney for murder suspect Lamar Simmons, who was arrested in 2011 for the 2005 murder of Jose Vazquez. Simmons was also charged with retaliation against a witness in the case. Vazquez was found dead hours after he testified in the murder case of Johnathan D. White.
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Radio show host and attorney Warren Ballentine indicted

February 5, 2013

An attorney out of Chicago and national radio show host for the Radio One Network has been indicted after being accused of defrauding lenders out of more than $10 million. The indictment has been announced by the US Attorney’s Office, where Ballentine is being accused of working with others to secure mortgages that were later deemed to be fraudulent.

The indictment includes six counts, including bank and wire fraud. Each count with a maximum prison term of 30 years. He could also be fined up to $10 million dollars on every count. He is set to be arraigned on February 5.

Prosecutors claim that Ballentine owns a law firm in suburban Country Club Hills, but he lives in Durham, North Carolina right now.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Finance Professor who has appeared on Ballentine’s show, says that people shouldn’t judge until the evidence is presented.

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Radio show host and attorney Warren Ballentine indicted