White-Collar Crime

Prosecutor: Former Crowell Attorney Accused of Stealing $7M Seeks to Qualify for Release in 6 Months


A former Crowell & Moring real estate attorney accused of embezzling $7 million from a client and then fleeing to Hong Kong is trying to get into a prison boot camp that could qualify him for release in six months, a prosecutor says.

Assistant District Attorney Sophi Jacobs said in a hearing Thursday in the Manhattan Supreme Court case that her office wants Douglas Arntsen, 34, to be sentenced to a five- to 15-year sentence. Any less time, she said, could potentially allow him to enter the Shock Incarceration prison boot camp and get paroled in six months, reports the Metropolis blog of the Wall Street Journal.

Arntsen said in May that he wants to take a plea in the grand larceny case, but his counsel and prosecutors have since been arguing about the sentence he should get, according to the newspaper. In addition to a substantial prison term for Arntsen, the prosecution also wants him to be required to pay $10 million in restitution.

Arntsen has been jailed for much of the past year, having been held as a flight risk after being sent back from Hong Kong in January, so he would get credit for that time in any sentence he is given.

Attorney Alan Lewis, who is representing Arntsen, declined to comment when contacted by the newspaper. However, the article says Arntsen discussed his desire to get into the Shock Incarceration program, which he heard about from another inmate, during a recorded prison call to his mother.

When she expresses concern about the physical difficulty of the military-style program, he tells her he is “dying to get into this thing,” because, due to the program’s intensity, “the six months flies.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Ex-Crowell Lawyer Held Without Bail in $2.5M Client Theft is Investigated re $21M More, Gov’t Says”

ABAJournal.com: “Crowell Loses Two Practice Group Chiefs in Wake of Alleged Embezzlement by Ex-Counsel”

ABAJournal.com: “Crowell & Moring Sued; Ex-Client Claims $15M Lost Due to Embezzlement by Then-Associate of Law Firm”

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