Posted Aug 20, 2010 05:04 pm CDT
Updated: A former partner of a Philadelphia law firm has been accused of embezzling $1 million from clients and the firm, allegedly faking documents and forging signatures to transfer money that should have been held in trust to himself and an unidentified favored female client.
A federal indictment charging Jeffrey Abramowitz, 47, with five counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud was unsealed today, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal and KYW. He was arrested yesterday and is to appear in court today.
Between 2005 and 2008, the Klevan & Abramowitz partner allegedly negotiated civil litigation claims without his clients’ knowledge, lied to clients about settlement amounts and supported his lies with bogus documents.
The feds are seeking forfeiture of $1 million and a late-model BMW.
Attorney Gary Samms of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel represents Abramowitz. He told the Business Journal: “For many years, Mr. Abramowitz provided excellent service to numerous clients.” He declined to discuss the charges against Abramowitz.
Abramowitz’s former partner, Mitchell Klevan, who now is a sole practitioner, told the Business Journal that the time since Abramowitz’s departure has been difficult.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever get over the depth of betrayal from someone who was a partner that I trusted like a brother,” Klevan told the Business Journal. “He brought this on himself and I just hope justice is served for all of the victims.”
Updated at 1:29 p.m. to include comments to Business Journal from Klevan and Samms.