Criminal Justice

Former lawyer who portrayed 'Excuseman' pleads guilty to client theft

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A former Chicago personal injury lawyer who appeared as the costumed character “Excuseman” pleaded guilty to felony theft Monday for stealing client settlement money.

When he appeared as Excuseman, Jordan Margolis had faulted those who “mess up and don’t fess up,” report the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. Now his fessing up to a single count in a plea deal could put him behind bars for up to three years when he is sentenced in June.

Margolis, now 64, was accused in a May 2016 indictment of stealing $1.1 million from a series of clients by settling their cases without their consent and keeping the money. In court in Chicago on Monday, Assistant State’s Attorney Wayne Jakalski said Margolis stole from more than a dozen clients.

Margolis spent money on his Excuseman character, according to the Tribune. He had two costumes made for the character, hired professionals to make YouTube videos, and self-published three books.

Margolis, a Northwestern law grad, was disbarred in 2015. He is in Los Angeles trying to find work as a screenwriter.

The disbarment order required Margolis to pay more than $675,000 in restitution to five people and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. He was also ordered to pay $390,00 in a legal malpractice suit, according to the Sun-Times.

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