Thursday, August 26, 2010

More Attorney Sleaze - Former Partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP Arrested on 30 Counts of Fraud

The firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP must be all red in the face this morning at the news of its former partner Jonathan S. Dickstein.  Dickstein, 43, a graduate of Stanford University, was arrested along with his wife and are expected to appear in court this morning for arraignment on 30 counts of fraud, theft and conspiracy.  Dickstein and his wife are being accused of bilking the San Francisco school district and private insurers out of about $400,000 via fraudulent bills for treatment of their autistic son, officials say:
"This was an elaborate scheme to defraud the school district and insurance companies out of a lot of money," said Chief Assistant District Attorney David Pfeifer. "They used this scheme to make money off their child's special needs - that's terrible." 
Until this year, Dickstein, who graduated from Stanford and then Harvard Law School, was a partner at the internationally recognized San Francisco firm of Morrison & Foerster, specializing in intellectual property issues and the law surrounding life sciences. He has since started his own practice, according to his Facebook page.  SF Lawyer Accused of Fraud in Autism Care.

The prosecutor said the couple incorporated an elaborate double dipping billing scheme for the care of their autistic child.  This is particularly disturbing in view of the fact Partner attorneys are paid quite well.  In this case, both parents were employed so it was apparently a matter of greed.  The couple had apparently shielded themselves from detection by volunteering many hours of their time to the causes associated with autism.

According to prosecutors, the district lost as much as $240,000 while Anthem Blue Cross lost an estimated $100,000 and CIGNA, which administered the law firm's health plan, lost about $40,000.

Douglas Rappaport, as the wife's attorney, said that it was too soon to comment in detail but that there was "some indication that their conduct could be construed as lawful."  In so many words, Dickstein's attorney Garrick Lew believes the special status of his clients and their volunteer work might enable them to work out a deal.

Many Attorneys think they're largely a privileged class of people who often steal money legally from clients.  They learn how to play the system and think judges will go easy on them.

The saddest part of this story is the autistic child has most likely lost his parents to prison.

Here's an interesting site of note:
The Committee to Expose Dishonest & Incompetent Judges, Attorneys & Public Officials