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Personal injury lawyer jailed for fraud

An American sting operation has resulted in a fraudulent personal injury lawyer being sent to prison for two months and a further year of supervised release including 100 hours of community service.

His sentence could have been more stringent, but the federal agents prosecuting asked the judge to bear in mind that he had co-operated once he had realised the two cleaners who he had helped to make a false car accident compensation claim were from the FBI.

"I'm not a dirty lawyer," the personal injury lawyer said before the sentence was issued, "I made a terrible mistake and I beat myself up over it every day." He had already given up his licence to practise law.

The sting had involved the two agents, posing as cleaners, asking the lawyer to help them make an inflated compensation claim for a car accident using paperwork for chiropractic treatments that they admitted had not occurred. These meetings were recorded, and a paper trail proved that the man had used these documents to reach a settlement with an insurance company.

The judge's insistence on a jail term appears to be a signal to other personal injury lawyers, and she told the defendant that "You're not an ordinary criminal and you need to be judged on that basis."


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