Michigan Litigation Attorney Sentenced to 5+ Years for Stealing from Clients
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Summary: A litigation attorney who was one of the busiest partners in his law firm goes to jail and loses his money and property, including his home, for stealing client money to fund his extravagant lifestyle.
A former partner and litigator at a well-known Michigan law firm was sentenced last week to 64 months in federal prison. Kenneth Flaska of Grosse Pointe Parke had pleaded guilty in April to stealing about $2.7 million from his clients. Flaska, a litigation attorney, was a partner at Bloomfield Hills-based Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler PLC.
Flaska was known as a competent litigator and one of the three busiest litigation attorneys in his law firm. He has already resigned from membership in the State Bar of Michigan. His plea deal helped to reduce his sentence; otherwise he could have faced up to nine years in jail.
Investigation reports showed that he had acted on his own in transferring client money to his own accounts under pretenses and different financial transactions. The law firm expelled him as soon as the matter was discovered.
Prosecutors had alleged that between 2004 and 2013, Flaska had withdrawn money under fraudulent pretenses from various client accounts. To cover the money for restitution, the Department of Justice has already sold his home, seized about $345,000 from one of his bank accounts and sold two of his boats for about $256,000 mentions an early report in Crain's Detroit Business.
Flaska was a boating enthusiast and once told a local magazine that he has competed more than 50 times in local boat races. He was also an overall winner in 2007 at the Pineapple Cup Montego Bay Race. The boats of his that DOJ sold included a 2007 Contender Outdoor Pleasure Boat and a Shaw Yacht.
The prosecution said Flaska stole client money to fund an extravagant lifestyle. According to data obtained by Crain's Detroit News from Hubbard One, during 2011, 13 percent of his firm's caseload was handled by Flaska, and he was one of the most successful attorneys in the law firm.
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