Lawyer Accused of Double Billing, Improper Expenses

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An Illinois attorney is facing disciplinary charges for allegedly double billing more than $130,000, creating fabricated invoices and charging personal expenses to a firm account.

The attorney, who was a former partner at the Chicago firm until he was fired in October 2019, was named in a Dec. 30 ethics complaint filed by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

The case is a cautionary lesson on the dire consequences of financial and billing improprieties.

Read about the case in the ABA Journal and here and here.

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From the ABA Journal:

According to allegations in the complaint, [the attorney’s] misconduct stemmed from his representation of a financial institution in financing and leasing matters involving other companies. The financial institution’s agreements with the customer companies allowed them to be billed directly for legal services in certain circumstances.

In one legal matter, [he] billed both the financial institution and one of its lessees nearly $24,000 for legal services in connection with a lease, the ethics complaint alleges. The payment from the lessee was applied to a once-dormant law firm account that [he] reactivated and controlled.

Between January 2018 and September 2019, [he] sent eight more fabricated invoices to the financial institution’s customer companies, collecting more than $108,000 that he applied to the reactivated account, the complaint says. He also allegedly billed the financial institution for the same services.

During those same years, [he]charged his business and personal expenses to the reactivated account, receiving nearly $80,000, the complaint alleges. The billed expenses included golf fees, dining and travel expenses.

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