Criminal Justice

Secretary dumped law firm client, then settled his case and cashed the check, arrest affidavit says

A former secretary for a South Florida personal injury law firm is facing criminal theft charges after allegedly stealing nearly $25,000 using a variety of techniques.

An arrest affidavit says Vanessa Beloitte, 29, made unauthorized charges to a client’s trust account for utility bill payments and forged endorsements on at least nine checks that should have gone to clients of the Law Offices of Fuentes & Berrio, reports the Sun-Sentinel.

The affidavit also accuses Beloitte of sending a letter to a client of the law firm terminating his representation, then negotiating with an insurance company to settle his case and cashing the check that subsequently arrived in the mail at Fuentes & Berrio, the newspaper recounts.

Partner Andrew Berrio said the firm is working with law enforcement and the small number of clients involved to ensure that they do not ultimately suffer any financial loss.

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