Texas Law Firm Takes $840K Plea, Profited from Auto Accident Scheme
Posted Oct 1, 2008 10:05 AM CDT
By Martha Neil
A law firm in Dallas has agreed to pay $840,000 restitution in exchange for an agreed sentence of probation in a federal mail and health care fraud conspiracy case.
The case was sparked by an alleged scheme to stage auto accidents involving almost 30 defendants, including two legal assistants. Officers of the Trey Allen legal corporation, which was previously known as the law office of John H. Allen III, aren't accused of knowing about the scheme, in which 27 defendants have been convicted so far. But the law firm profited by representing clients that its legal assistants brought in, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
The legal assistants referred clients to chiropractors for treatment concerning auto accidents that the chiropractors knew had been staged, according to U.S. Attorney Richard Roper.
"Trey Allen didn’t engage in fraud, and he didn’t know about any fraud. No one is accusing him of that," the law firm's attorney, Mick Mickelson, tells the newspaper. "But the corporation has to pay back the unjust enrichment it received by virtue of the business it received as a result of the scheme."
Formal sentencing for the law firm is scheduled in January. So far, it has already paid $50,000 in restitution, and an additional $150,000 is due then. The remaining $640,000 will be paid monthly, apparently over a five-year probation term, and John H. Allen III has personally guaranteed payment, the newspaper reports.