Saturday, December 31, 2016

Attorney Who Abruptly Shut Down Law Practice Suspected Of Fleecing $360K From Estate Of Dead Client; Allegedly Exercised 5th Amendment Right To Remain Silent Over Two Dozen Times When Questioned About The Missing Cash In Recent Bankruptcy Proceeding

In San Antonio, Texas, the San Antonio Express-News reports:
  • Bexar County Probate Judge Kelly Cross issued an order for the arrest of embattled San Antonio attorney Todd Prins after he failed to appear for a court hearing today.

    Prins was supposed to appear for a hearing on whether he should be held in contempt for disobeying a Sept. 28 order issued by Cross directing Prins to turn over $360,902 that is reportedly being held in his law firm’s trust account for a deceased client’s estate. The check Prins originally sent the estate bounced in May, according to a court filing.

    Prins was at risk of being jailed or fined if he had appeared in court.

    Cross’ order marks the latest tumult for Prins. He filed for bankruptcy in September, was sued in October by former clients who alleged he fabricated court documents and forged judges’ signatures, and shut down his law office last month.
    Glenn Deadman, Prins’ lawyer, told Cross he didn’t know of Prins’ whereabouts. Deadman has filed papers seeking to withdraw as Prins’ attorney, though the request hasn’t been heard by the judge.

    Carlos Solis, a former Bexar County prosecutor who also is representing Prins, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

    The Prins Law Firm is reportedly holding in its trust account $362,092 that belongs to the estate of Jose Oleszcovski Wasserteil. Prins represented Oleszcovski, a Mexican resident, before his death in 2013.

    During [the] hearing, Cross indicated she would issue an order allowing the estate’s attorney, Michael Flume, to subpoena the Prin Law Firm’s bank records for the trust account in an effort to track down the money.

    When Flume asked about the money during Tuesday’s bankruptcy proceeding, Prins exercised his right not to incriminate himself. He would exercise that right more than 25 times during the proceeding.