Lawyers Behaving Badly...

From the New York Law Journal:

"A former Crowell & Moring associate who fled to Hong Kong to avoid arrest and had to be extradited has admitted embezzling $10.7 million dollars from clients over a two-year period.
Douglas Arntsen, 34, pleaded guilty yesterday before Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser (See Profile) in connection to the theft from an investment fund and a real estate management company he advised.
In exchange for a sentence of 4-to-12 years, Arntsen pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree grand larceny, a B felony, and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud, an E felony. He also agreed to a restitution order for the $10.7 million, which he used to make loans and investments, but also on sporting events, strip clubs, meals at restaurants and the purchase of businesses for friends, family and himself including a laundromat and cookie and potato chip distributorships."

Frankly I think Arntsen received a laughably light sentence for his crimes, particularly in light of his move to flee the country, and especially given the sacred trust many people have in their lawyers. His actions were a stain on the legal profession, and I hope he never has the privilege of counselling clients, in any context, again.

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