Legal Ethics

Well-Known Lawyer Gets 8 Years in Fiduciary Fraud Involving Millions of Dollars

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A well-known South Florida forensic accountant and attorney made a tearful apology in federal court in Miami on Friday before being sentenced to eight years for stealing millions, much of it from the accounts of individuals he oversaw as a court-appointed fiduciary.

Lewis Freeman, 61, received 270 letters of support, and his lawyers painted a picture of a man known for charitable work. They also noted that he had significant expenses for a sick child, home improvements and a bad investment, reports the South Florida Business Journal.

But Judge Paul Huck pointed to government findings that Freeman had spent some $400,00 on travel, clothing and other items.

In a court filing, the lawyers quoted Freeman, reports the Miami Herald: “`Using my education in accounting and law to help others is my greatest accomplishment. Breaking the law is my biggest disgrace.”

Freeman pleaded guilty to a mail fraud conspiracy count in March.

Prosecutors said he took as much as $7 million but replaced all but about $2.6 million.

When he completes his prison term, he must serve another 21 months of house arrest.

Additional coverage:

ABA Journal: “Fall From Grace”

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