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White-Collar Crime

Crowell & Moring Settles $5.5M Client Suit re Ex-Counsel Awaiting Extradition in Hong Kong

Posted Dec 12, 2011 10:17 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In its first public response to a $5.5 million lawsuit filed by client Regal Real Estate over millions of dollars allegedly stolen by a former Crowell & Moring attorney from an escrow account, the law firm has apologized and announced that a settlement has been reached.

"We are pleased to confirm that Crowell & Moring and Regal have resolved their disputes concerning escrow funds that were diverted by Crowell & Moring’s former employee Douglas Arntsen. Crowell & Moring has fully reimbursed Regal for the escrow funds that were lost as a result of Arntsen's misconduct," the firm says in a written statement provided to the ABA Journal.

"We were appalled to learn that a former employee seems to have been involved in an elaborate plot to defraud our client and his colleagues at Crowell & Moring," the statement continues. "The alleged conduct of this former employee is in stark contrast to everything we stand for as a firm and is entirely inconsistent with the strong reputation of trust we have built among our clients over the years. We are grateful to our client Regal for their patience in this matter and are pleased finally to be in a position to honor our obligations to them through this settlement."

Arntsen, who worked with Regal before he resigned from the law firm on Sept. 12, is being held in Hong Kong pending extradition to the United States on grand theft charges. He traveled there in September as authorities reportedly were trying to set up a sting operation with the help of a Regal representative.

A Reuters article provides additional details about the current status of other matters related to Arntsen.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Client Sues Crowell & Moring, Claims Law Firm Can’t Account for $5.5M in Escrow Money"

ABAJournal.com: "Add $1M More to Funds Ex-Counsel of Crowell & Moring Is Accused of Taking from Client Trust Accounts"

ABAJournal.com: "Crowell Client Asked in July re Use of Trust Account By Ex-Counsel Now Accused of Stealing"

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