White-Collar Crime

Prosecutors Say Indicted PI Lawyer Kept Settlements, Stonewalled 3 Clients, Sent Fake Letters

A New York personal injury lawyer has been indicted on charges including grand larceny and forgery for allegedly settling three clients’ cases and keeping the money.

Prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office say John Ioannou, 57, stonewalled clients after taking their money and even sent fake client letters to state attorney disciplinary authorities asking to have ethics complaints dropped, reports Reuters.

The news agency could not immediately reach Ioannou’s lawyer for comment, but the New York Post reports his lawyer, James Stovall, said during a hearing that most of the money has been repaid. “With someone else’s money,” shot back prosecutor Leah Keith.

After the hearing ended, Stovall said his client looks forward to clearing his name and returning to practice. Ioannou was reportedly suspended late last year for taking a $50,000 interest-free loan from a client.

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