South Fla. attorney charged in $2.5M fraud scheme
The Associated Press
MIAMI -- A prominent South Florida attorney has been charged with embezzling $2.5 million from his own clients' trust funds.Incredible, besides being an attorney, Mr. Freeman was a forensic accountant who was frequently appointed trustee in many large bankruptcies, in other words he was responsible for going through the financial wreckages of these cases and sorting out where the money went. What strikes me as strange is how someone who is charged with protecting the assets of those in bankruptcy would actually steal from the very same people that he was entrusted to protect. Like we said, a damn shame and another black eye for the legal community.
Federal prosecutors say 60-year-old Lewis Freeman stole from 250 clients and covered it up with false court filings. Freeman has frequently been appointed by judges as a receiver and trustee in fraud and bankruptcy cases.
Freeman is charged with mail fraud conspiracy, which carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
Freeman has not entered a plea. His attorneys issued a statement acknowledging he made mistakes and will accept the consequences of his actions.
The FBI raided Freeman's 30-employee firm in October, after which it was dissolved. Freeman was honored in 2005 as the University of Miami's alumnus of the year.
There is something that did catch our eye regarding the Freeman story, from the Miami Herald headline...
Did anyone catch it?
See that? Paying attention Mr. Kostrzewski? Looks like the prosecutors that were working on Mr. Freemans case extended the common courtesy of allowing Mr. Freeman to surrender himself to the authorities. We've discussed several high profile white collar crimes and how the defendants were allowed to surrender, we even got the opinion of a local judge on white collar crimes and the subject of surrender. I have to wonder, considering the fact that its common knowledge that people who are charged with white collar crimes are allowed to surrender themselves and avoid the humiliation of being carted out in cuffs in front of friends, family and business associates, why is it that ASA Kostrzewski
insisted that the defendants in the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud case be arrested the way they were? I understand that at least one of the defendants may have been a flight risk but what about the others? Rumors suggest that the defendant that was a flight risk was already working with the feds, so why would he have even been considered a flight risk? There has to be more to the story, we're going down to the courthouse today to see if we can find some answers.