Legal Ethics

Ex-Partner Charged in Alleged $2M Theft from Law Firm & Clients

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Fired, disbarred and divorced earlier this year, an ex-partner of Lindquist & Vennum in Minneapolis has now been charged with wire fraud,

Michael Margulies, 56, allegedly embezzled some $2 million from the firm and its clients between 1994 and 2010, reports the Star-Tribune. He is accused of forging checks and submitting false documentation, including fraudulent expense reports and invoices, according to a criminal information filed today in federal court in Minneapolis.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to as much as 20 years in prison.

The alleged scheme came to light after a client of Margulies, who specialized in real estate matters, complained of being double-billed, the newspaper reports. He delayed repayment, and the firm discovered that he had submitted false expense reports for dinners, says managing partner Daryle Uphoff.

Most of the money reportedly went to pay for extensive renovations at a historic brick mansion in St. Paul in which Margulies resided with his wife prior to their divorce last year.

A 32-year practitioner, Marguliles was disbarred by consent after being fired from the firm March 15.

An earlier post provides additional details.

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