Center City lawyer Jeffrey Abramowitz stole more than $1 million from his clients and his former law firm, according to allegations stemming from a federal grand jury, the Philadelphia Daily News reported. Authorities claim the Philadelphia personal injury attorney bilked clients out of civil settlements for nearly four years.
The 47-year-old attorney was arrested last Thursday, arraigned by a federal magistrate earlier this week and pleaded not guilty to five counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud. Although his attorney declined to comment, he said his client was released on a $50,000 bond.
Jeffrey Abramowitz was a managing partner at the now-defunct law firm of Klevan & Abramowitz, PC, but authorities claim none of the other firm's attorneys were implicated in any wrongdoing. Former partner Mitchell Klevan expressed his disbelief and sadness in light of the charges:
"[Abramowitz] had been my colleague for a long time. I felt toward him like a brother. The betrayal I feel is so deep. It's a great hurt."
According to prosecutors, he embezzled funds earmarked for clients' lawsuit settlements and depositing them into his own accounts between March 2005 and December 2008. In some cases he even forged the signatures of clients when depositing checks into his accounts, according to the indictment.
Jeffrey Abramowitz allegedly negotiated settlements and agreements behind the backs of his clients, lied about the settlement amounts and generated false documents to back his lies. He spent the funds on himself and on a "favored client" referred to as "D.P." in legal documents. Feds are seeking repayment of $1.1 million and a 2000 BMW.
He specialized in medical malpractice, product liability and other personal injury cases.
Attorney Misconduct (FindLaw's LawBrain)