Trials & Litigation

Law firm sues ex-partner, says he billed client for $2.3M in fictional work

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A New York law firm sued a former partner Tuesday, contending that he billed a corporate client $2.3 million over an eight-year period for “nonexistent work on cases that had already been terminated and/or never existed.”

David Denenberg also sought reimbursement for $800,000 in nonexistent expenses, Davidoff Hutcher & Citron contends in its Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit. Alleging that Denenberg also drafted fake court orders and forged judges’ signatures to support his alleged fraudulent scheme, the firm is seeking reimbursement of the $3.6 million he was paid between 2006 and 2014, according to the New York Daily News and Newsday (sub.req.).

The firm says it referred the matter to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn after firing Denenberg. The office declined requests for comment.

Denenberg, who is currently a Nassau County legislator, had withdrawn by the end of the day Tuesday as a Democratic candidate for the state senate, Newsday reports.

In a written statement, he contended that the suit was politically motivated, called the allegations against him “outrageous” and promised to cooperate with a U.S. attorney’s office investigation to “establish the truth.”

Denenberg also said his lawyer, Bruce Barket, will not only defend the allegations but “prosecute my claims against the firm,” the newspaper states.

In a Tuesday email to clients, the Davidoff firm’s co-managing partner, Jeffrey Citron, called the matter ” the most painful experience I have ever dealt with” in 40 years of law practice, the Newsday article continues.

Citron said Denenberg admitted the billing fraud to both the law firm and was immediately fired, the newspaper reports. The law firm has promised full restitution to the client.

“We conclusively established that Denenberg acted on his own and without the knowledge of anyone at DHC,” Citron wrote. “We also determined that no other client has been impacted by Denenberg’s actions.”

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