Criminal Justice

Former Hunton partner is arrested in Florida after disappearing nearly 20 years ago

  • Print

A former Hunton & Williams partner who disappeared nearly 20 years ago before he was charged in an alleged Ponzi scheme has been arrested in Delray Beach, Florida.

The arrest of the former partner, 67-year-old Scott Wolas, was based on allegations of a more recent investment fraud, report the Am Law Daily (sub. req.), the Patriot Ledger and the Boston Globe.

Prosecutors said the former partner, Scott Wolas, was using an alias when he allegedly persuaded friends and co-workers to give him $1.5 million to buy a Massachusetts bar and then disappeared with the money last year. He had been working as a real-estate broker at the time. A press release is here.

Wolas had been a fugitive since 1997 in connection with an unrelated New York grand theft and larceny indictment, according to federal prosecutors. That case allegedly involved an alleged $100 million fraudulent liquor-exporting scheme, the New York Times reported at the time.

Wolas had left Hunton & Williams, where he was a litigation partner, before fleeing. He was disbarred in 1999. He has used several aliases since his disappearance, prosecutors said. One of them was used to obtain a license to sell investments until 2001, when the FBI discovered the use of the alias, the Globe says.

“For years,” the Boston Globe reported, “Wolas was the guy who got away. He had a knack with people, [acquaintances] said, a raconteur with brains and a taste for fine wine. He wowed investors with his seeming empathy, his false boasts of having a European trust fund, and his knowledge on an array of subjects.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.