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Bayside Lawyer Charged, Stole $737,000 AND Quarles & Brady Ponzi Fraud

Posted on Jul 19, 2012

Other Lawyers in Milwaukee Stumble with Legal Complications of Their Own

Last Wednesday, July 18th, a former attorney of Milwaukee auto accident law firm Eisenberg, Riley & Zimmerman was charged with two counts of embezzlement of more than $10,000 from March 2006 to January 2009, totaling $737,172. 37-year old Brian Mularski of Bayside is scheduled to appear in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court on Thursday.

According to the Fox Point-Bayside Patch, Mularski stole 159 checks that were to be sent to insurance companies and clients and deposited them into a bank account under the name Mularski Law Office. The firm’s office manager discovered the scheme while Mularski was on vacation and after being contacted by insurance companies, who said they never received payments. The manager found cancelled checks and fake endorsements and confronted Mularski upon his return, who eventually repaid $238,126, less than a third.

In 2010, the Wisconsin Supreme Court revoked his license after a disciplinary hearing on 13 counts including three client matters and pending complaints from eight other clients.

But the legal issues don't stop there.

"Choose a Lawyer with Great Caution" by Michael F. Hupy

IN mid-June, Milwaukee-based law firm Quarles & Brady, LLP agreed to pay $26.5 million “to settle class-action claims that it aided an alleged Ponzi scheme that resulted in two bankruptcies and $900 million of investor losses” in Phoenix, Arizona last June, according to the JSOnline. The preliminary agreement approval by an Arizona federal judge is a steep decrease from the $900 million that investors initially sought.

Managing partner of the firm's Phoenix office Jon E. Pettibone said that their “conduct was at all times lawful and ethical” but agreed to settle “in order to avoid the burden, expense and uncertainty of continued litigation.”

"You don't see settlements that large by law firms unless there are multiple smoking gun documents that would, in effect, sink the Bismarck in a court of law," said Andrew Stoltman, a Chicago lawyer who represents plaintiffs in securities cases and was not involved in the case.

As you can see, some law firms and their individual attorneys are misguided.

 

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham