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Feds: Lawyer used bankruptcy clients' credit cards

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  • Feds: Lawyer used bankruptcy clients' credit cards

    12:46 PM CDT, September 21, 2012

    A Vernon Hills attorney used his bankruptcy clients’ credit cards and also had an employee create bogus tax returns so he could put off paying his student loans and buy a car, federal prosecutors said today.

    After the employee was arrested, attorney Bradley F. Aubel tried to keep her quiet by paying her mortgage and giving her sister $6,000 to go to Mexico, authorities said.

    But the employee cooperated with officials anyway and recorded text messages that are contained in a federal complaint charging the 47-year-old Aubel with mail and wire fraud and obstruction of justice, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

    Prosecutors say Aubel had used the worker not only to create the false returns, but to get cash advances from credit cards of his bankruptcy clients. The schemes began unraveling when the woman was arrested in 2010 for identify theft.

    Aubel suggested that the woman, who had worked for him for 10 years, plead guilty and serve a sentence, prosecutors say. In return, he offered to keep paying her salary and mortgage and also paid her sister $6,000 to go to Mexico "so she would be unavailable to talk further to the FBI or testify at any proceeding," according to the U.S. attorney's office.

    In one exchange of text messages provided by prosecutors, Aubel assured the woman that "things will work out."

    Aubel: "R u ok you look abit tense"

    Woman: "No I'm ok, just nervous about the whole thing"

    Aubel: "Just making sure your ok and remember that everything is going to be ok"

    Woman: "O yea right the last time you said that I got arrested and now have felony charges, and you want me to be ok"

    Aubel: "Easy don't get offended things will work out just relax"

    Aubel also had his employee create bogus tax returns for him to back up his claim that he made about $6,666 a month so he could buy a 2011 Honda Fit, according to the complaint.

    At the time he was siphoning money from his clients' credit cards, Aubel owed more than $100,000 in student loans and was trying to get the U.S. Department of Education to allow him to stop payment on the loans, prosecutors say.

    He had the employee create a bogus set of tax returns that claimed he earned only $8,663 in 2008, $7,578 in 2009 and $7,018 in 2010 so he could stop payment on the loans, according to the federal complaint.

    Aubel was released on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court again Oct. 16.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...0,645879.story
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 09-22-2012, 12:53 AM.

  • #2
    daveinIL, I edited your post to comply with news posting guidelines. Please read the stickie at the top of this subforum next time you post a news article.

    Thanks!
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

    Comment


    • #3
      Something is amiss when I read the attorney's monthly income. A bankruptcy attorney only making $6,700/month (or about $80K a year)? I would think that bankruptcy attorneys, even staff attorneys, would make more.
      Chapter 7 (No Asset/Non-Consumer) Filed (Pro Se) 7/08 (converted from Chapter 13 - 2/10)
      Status: (Auto) Discharged and Closed! 5/10
      Visit My BKForum Blog: justbroke's Blog


      I am not an attorney. Any advice provided is not legal advice.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by justbroke View Post
        Something is amiss when I read the attorney's monthly income. A bankruptcy attorney only making $6,700/month (or about $80K a year)? I would think that bankruptcy attorneys, even staff attorneys, would make more.
        ha! so agree, although maybe he's a BAD atty? but as far as the 80k per year, usually the young new assoc. do start (in at least a few of the firms i know) at less nowadays.
        8/4/2008 MAKE SURE AND VISIT Tobee's Blogs! http://www.bkforum.com/blog.php?32727-tobee43 and all are welcome to bk forum's Florida State Questions and Answers on BK http://www.bkforum.com/group.php?groupid=9

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        • #5
          Originally posted by justbroke View Post
          Something is amiss when I read the attorney's monthly income. A bankruptcy attorney only making $6,700/month (or about $80K a year)? I would think that bankruptcy attorneys, even staff attorneys, would make more.
          That is not surprising at all, most BK is very much a blue - collar type of law. And given that every attorney that couldn't make it in "real law" and every law school graduate who can't find a job offers BK services (in addition to the dedicated BK attorneys that do it by choice and are good at it), the market is saturated. The vast majority of BK attorneys are solo-practitioners. In any district, there are literally only a handful of firms that have multiple attorneys (and if they do, usually it is because they offer other legal services, e.g. family law, personal injury etc). So, actually, a BK attorney that can consistently earn $6,700 per month is not doing that badly all things considered. Too boot, must BK attorneys are lousy business people. There are exceptions of course, but the perception that BK attorneys make a ton of money is misplaced. Most will be lucky to see 6 figures in a given year.

          Even though it may seem like BK's would be booming (they were in 2008-2010), BK filings are rapidly declining. As with any perceived booming market, it invites more competition. Unlike many industries, there is a very low barrier to entry, anyone with a law license and a credit card can hold themselves out as a BK attorney and sap a few clients here and there which puts tremendous pressure on the established firms.
          Last edited by HHM; 09-22-2012, 12:16 PM.

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          • #6
            He is not just a B/K Lawyer he did many other things also. Criminal, Divorce, Real Estate, and Immigration. I had him as my attorney. He almost cost me my children by slandering me and telling lies to the opposing counsel and Judge. He never wanted any form of payment other than cash. Aside B/K which he has done for over a decade what he did was of no new news to me. I knew of this incident a year ago and he covered it up by manipulating other individuals and bribery. He is a horrible person and anytime you go to seek a Lawyer, always get your receipts and make sure you are represented in an appropriate fashion. I lost thousands of dollars.

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