February 24, 2024

Pinellas County lawyer accused of stealing $840K from clients

Pinellas County lawyer accused of stealing $840K from clients

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Pinellas County lawyer was arrested Monday and accused of stealing additional than $840,000 from clients to fuel his drug difficulties, in accordance to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Place of work.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri took heart phase Monday to announce the arrest of Christopher Reynolds, who began his individual personal harm legislation follow in 2015 and labored as a “car wreck law firm.”

Authorities mentioned Reynolds was intended to refer his purchasers, largely victims of auto incidents, to clinical companies below a “letter of defense.” He was then tasked with billing the costs to the insurance policies providers of at-fault drivers.

Having said that, in early Oct 2022, deputies acquired a complaint from a automobile accident victim who was represented by Reynolds. The sufferer stated she preserved steady conversation with Reynolds until finally her scenario neared its stop — That’s when authorities said Reynolds would cut communication.

Upon contacting her coverage business, the sufferer acquired Reynolds settled the scenario in March 2022 for $100,000. The woman was under no circumstances awarded for her accidents.

Gualtieri claimed Reynolds cast the woman’s signature on settlement paperwork without paying out her healthcare costs or transferring her settlement dollars.

In the course of an investigation, deputies realized the Florida Bar was already conducting an investigation into the systemic theft by Reynolds.

“We determined that Reynolds stole about $840,000 in client revenue from 16 people,” Gualtieri said. “This represents the men and women we have determined so far.”

In December 2022, the Florida Supreme Courtroom issued an emergency suspension purchase of Reynolds’ license to follow in Florida.

Even further investigation found that Reynolds made use of section of the resources to help his drug use.

“It is thought at least a part of the stolen money was employed to acquire prescription drugs,” Gualtieri said. “His Lender documents show he spent above $30,000 on the web page OnlyFans, above $25,000 on the anonymous billing web page, MMbill, practically $400K on PayPal, and above $24,000 on Uber.”

Reynolds was arrested Monday on several counts of grand theft and cash laundering.

“This is a scenario where by you bought anyone that is supposed to enable men and women. That’s sticking it to them and having their dollars,” Gualtieri said. “It’s just actually a terrible circumstance.”

Anybody who thinks they may perhaps be a victim is requested to make contact with the sheriff’s office.