Law Practice Management

Ex-Office Manager Accused of Stealing $1.1M from Law Firm, Spending on Vintage Car

Updated: The former office manager for a law firm in Chatham Borough, N.J., has been accused in a civil suit of embezzling $1.1 million from her employer over an approximately five-year period dating back as far as 2004.

Beth Friedland was fired in July after the thefts were discovered, Maloof Lebowitz Connahan & Oleske says in a suit filed Monday in Morris County Superior Court. She allegedly used the money to pay personal expenses for herself and her husband and restore a vintage car, according to the Daily Record and the Star-Ledger.

She has offered to repay some of the missing money, in part by using funds from her 401(k) retirement account, the suit says. It seeks a freeze to prevent Friedland and her husband from dissipating assets.

The Daily Record says it couldn’t reach either Friedland or her husband (which it identifies as her boyfriend) for comment.

The Star-Ledger says Friedland oversaw both deposits into the law firm’s general business account and the payment of bills from the account. The Daily Record says that she was not provided with access to the firm’s trust account.

As detailed in earlier posts, a number of other law firms have also complained of such thefts. Among the most recent coverage:

Bookkeeper Accused of Stealing $176K from Florida Law Firm

Paralegal Rejects 40-Year Plea Deal in Alleged $1M Law Firm Theft

Another post, in early July, provides links to earlier cases:

Office Mgr Accused of Using Law Firm Checks to Pay $218K in Credit Card Bills

Updated at 12:55 p.m. to include and accord with information from Star-Ledger.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.