LOS ANGELES—A erstwhile lawyer from Redondo Beach agreed Oct. 20 to plead blameworthy to a fraud charge, admitting helium lied to clients astir winning cases and deceiving them with bogus documents, immoderate with the forged signatures of judges.
Matthew Charles Elstein, 51, volition plead to 1 number of ligament fraud successful Los Angeles national tribunal connected a day to beryllium determined, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Elstein was a licensed California lawyer from December 1994 until the State Bar of California ordered him inactive successful March 2019.
According to his plea agreement, from June 2015 to July 2018, Elstein engaged successful a strategy to defraud his clients by claiming helium obtained favorable ineligible resolutions for them, erstwhile successful information the favorable resolutions had ne'er been obtained.
In galore cases, Elstein ne'er initiated immoderate ineligible action, prosecutors said. Elstein besides admitted to misappropriating funds by informing victims their fees were going into his lawsuit spot account, erstwhile successful information helium directed them to deposit wealth into his idiosyncratic slope account, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Elstein admitted to fabricating depositions successful a national lawsuit successful Washington authorities successful September 2015. Because the depositions were fake, nary 1 appeared for them. Nonetheless, Elstein had a tribunal stenographer contiguous and made a ceremonial grounds of the nonappearances, according to prosecutors.
Elstein besides billed his lawsuit for attending the fake depositions and his question expenses to Seattle. Elstein besides falsely told the unfortunate that helium had obtained a $4.25 cardinal judgement successful the victim’s favour and provided the unfortunate with a fake tribunal bid containing the forged signature of a judge,
When the unfortunate traveled to Seattle to cod the judgment, helium was informed by the tribunal that nary specified lawsuit existed. In total, Elstein’s behaviour resulted successful losses of astatine slightest $350,000 to his victims, according to prosecutors.
Once helium enters his blameworthy plea, Elstein volition look up to 20 years successful national prison.