Sunday, October 30, 2016

Two Years After Disbarment, Orlando Feds Finally Put Pinch On Ex-Lawyer Accused Of Fleecing Clients Out Of Over $2 Million

In Orlando, Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports:
  • A Longwood attorney accused of draining hundreds of thousands of dollars from the trust accounts and businesses of her clients was arrested [September 30] on federal charges.

    Julie Kronhaus, 51, is accused of 11 counts of wire fraud and seven counts of bank fraud. An Orlando federal grand jury indicted her [last month].

    The indictment, [], accuses her of wrongdoing dating back to 2009. She's charged with making eight illegal wire transfers totaling $526,000 between 2012 and 2014.

    In addition, she's charged with defrauding Bank of America out of $425,000 in a separate series of transactions.

    Clients, however, have filed lawsuits and complaints with the Florida Bar accusing her of misappropriating more than $2 million.(1)

    Kronhaus provided legal advice, did accounting, set up trust funds and managed them for several clients. It's those funds that she's accused of raiding.

    One of those was Brittany Jones, who gave birth 10 years ago to a baby girl who suffered severe brain damage while in a Lake County hospital. Kronhaus was in charge of the child's trust account when $180,000 disappeared, Jones alleged in a complaint with the Florida Bar.

    "I'm glad it's finally happened," she said Friday when told of Kronhaus' arrest. "I've never seen where she's ever denied any wrongdoing."

    Kronhaus had an office on Howell Branch Road near Winter Park and also was a certified public accountant. She was disbarred in 2014 and stripped of her CPA license by state regulators last year.

    She did not return phone calls Friday evening.

    Her arrest came as no surprise. Former clients have clamored for it for more than two years, when they first discovered checks she wrote to them began to bounce.

    The first agency to take action against her was the Florida Bar. About that time, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office began an investigation, then turned it over to the FBI.

    As the investigation dragged on, clients grew angry that she had not been charged with a crime.
For more, see Disbarred Longwood attorney arrested on federal fraud charges.
(1) The Clients' Security Fund was created by The Florida Bar to help compensate persons who have suffered a loss of money or property due to misappropriation or embezzlement by a Florida-licensed attorney.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that sometimes help cover the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.

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