Sunday, June 11, 2017

Complaint Filed By State Bar, Subsequent Probe By Police Economic Crime Unit Lead To Various Theft Charges Against Attorney For Allegedly Purloining Over $400K From Nine Clients; Others Who May Have Also Been Victimized Urged To Come Forward

In Media, Pennsylvania, The Delaware County Daily Times reports:
  • A Delaware County personal injury attorney has been busted for allegedly pocketing more than $400,000 in settlement funds that were supposed to go to his clients.(1)

    Gregory G. Stagliano, 61, of Radnor, is facing felony charges for allegedly stealing settlement funds for his own personal use and “lavish lifestyle” from nine different victims who he was representing in personal injury cases, according to a press release issued by District Attorney Jack Whelan.

    Stagliano, of the 500 block of Chaumont Drive, is charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft of services, theft by deception, and receiving stolen property, all felonies of the third degree in addition to being charged with the unauthorized practice of law.

    An investigation into the theft began on July 30, 2016, led by Detective Michele Deery of the Delaware County Criminal Investigation (CID) Division Economic Crime Unit, when information was received from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that Stagliano, a personal injury attorney, was allegedly stealing settlement money owed to his clients.

    In one of the nine cases, Stagliano was hired to represent an individual who was in a car accident that occurred in February 2014. As a result of the settlement in the case, Stagliano received two checks, totaling $65,000, both which were made payable to the victim of the car accident and Stagliano. The first check was received on Nov. 6, 2016, in the amount of $50,000 from Allstate Insurance and the second check from Nationwide Insurance was dated Dec. 19, 2014, for $15,000.

    According to bank records, both checks were deposited into Stagliano’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) account. After receiving only $7,500 in partial distribution of the funds, the victim attempted to contact Stagliano more than 30 times in regards to the whereabouts of the money she was owed, according to the D.A.’s press release. She received various excuses from Stagliano and at one point, he responded to her, “I wish you to cease your continued harassing communications in this regard and if you do not, we will go about it in a different way.”

    Following an investigation by the Disciplinary Board, Stagliano represented in his fiduciary statement that he owed $40,000 to the victim. Further investigation of his bank records by Det. Deery revealed that the settlement funds had been spent by Stagliano, with an actual balance of only $133.77 in his account.

    As a result of an investigation into the eight other theft cases, all of which show a similar pattern of theft, it was determined that on nine separate occasions Stagliano deposited funds into his own Santander Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA), ranging in $3,000 to $50,000, keeping his clients money for his own personal use. the D.A. alleged. Further investigation into bank records show that he spent the money including using the funds in the account to pay taxes on properties he owns in Delaware County.

    “As prosecutors, we find the violation of his sworn fiduciary responsibly especially disturbing and Mr. Stagliano used this position in order to fund his own lavish lifestyle and pay his own personal debts with his clients’ money,” said Jack Whelan. “Individuals should be able to trust their attorneys and abusing that trust is both unethical and in this case criminal. Today’s arrest of Mr. Stagliano should send a clear message that no one is above the law. All licensed attorneys in Pennsylvania are registered on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. If residents have any questions or concerns regarding an attorney, they are encouraged to look up that attorney by accessing the website at www.padisciplinaryboard.org.”

    If anyone believes they also have been victimized by Stagliano, they are urged to contact CID Det. Michele Deery at 610-891-8745.
Source: Delco attorney charged with pocketing $400,000 in settlements for clients.
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(1) For "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that sometimes help cover the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.  ripoff reimbursement.

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