Criminal Justice

Ex-Crowell Associate Pleads Guilty in $10.7M Client Theft; Where Did the Money Go?

A former Crowell & Moring lawyer has pleaded guilty to stealing $10.7 million from two clients, an investment fund and a real estate management company.

Douglas Arntsen, 34, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to grand larceny and a scheme to defraud in exchange for an agreement to pay restitution and serve a sentence of four to 12 years, the New York Law Journal reports. The Staten Island Advance and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog also have stories.

Prosecutors say Arntsen spent the money on sporting events; pricey restaurant meals; strip clubs; loans and investments; and the purchase of businesses for family, friends and himself, the New York Law Journal says. The businesses included a laundromat and cookie and potato chip distributorships.

Arntsen had fled to Hong Kong to avoid arrest and was extradited to the United States. So far he has returned about $151,000, prosecutors say.

Prior coverage: “Prosecutor: Former Crowell Attorney Accused of Stealing $7M Seeks to Qualify for Release in 6 Months” “Ex-Crowell Lawyer Held Without Bail in $2.5M Client Theft is Investigated re $21M More, Gov’t Says” “Crowell Loses Two Practice Group Chiefs in Wake of Alleged Embezzlement by Ex-Counsel” “Crowell & Moring Sued; Ex-Client Claims $15M Lost Due to Embezzlement by Then-Associate of Law Firm”

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