Disbarred personal-damage lawyer will get 12 a few years in jail for fraud

A former own-personal harm lawyer who stole tens of hundreds of thousands of greenbacks from purchasers’ settlements forward of fleeing to Costa Rica was sentenced Thursday in federal courtroom docket in Los Angeles to 12 years in jail.

Philip James Layfield, 48, aka Philip Samuel Pesin, was discovered accountable in August on 23 charges, like 19 counts of felony wire fraud, a single rely of mail fraud, 1 rely of tax evasion and different prices, in keeping with the U.S. lawyer’s place of job in Los Angeles. Simply after the decision, he was remanded to federal custody.

Layfield beforehand owned and operated a number of regulation corporations in California, along with workplaces in Irvine, Los Angeles and El Segundo, alongside with Park City, Utah, and Scottsdale, Ariz.

In 2016, Layfield represented a consumer who was nonetheless left critically wounded instantly after at present being hit by a automobile or truck in Orange County, in keeping with the U.S. lawyer’s place of job. Layfield negotiated a $3.9-million settlement for his shopper however stole near $2 million for his very personal customized use and to spend different clientele whose settlement assets he skilled misappropriated, in accordance to charging information.

The patron within the Orange County state of affairs obtained solely $25,000, in keeping with federal prosecutors.

In 2016, Layfield unsuccessful to file a federal revenue tax return, regardless of getting $3 million, which included settlement cash he had embezzled from purchasers, authorities acknowledged. He was additionally accountable for his laws company not paying round $121,000 in payroll taxes for the subsequent quarter of 2017.

Proper after he stole tons of of hundreds from his purchasers’ settlement money, Layfield moved to Coto de Caza in Costa Rica. Prematurely of he fled, he used for a $700,000 mortgage from an organization mortgage supplier with misleading info, in keeping with federal prosecutors who detailed Layfield’s crimes by a 13-day trial ultimate 12 months.

Layfield utilized the majority of the cash from the mortgage for private bills, along with paying for a horse after which transport and supply different horses to Costa Rica, authorities reported. He was arrested in New Jersey in 2018 quickly after he returned to the USA and was disbarred in California afterward that 12 months.