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Lawyer stole $500K from Greenberg Traurig

  Legal Business  -   POSTED: 2010/10/20 17:26

Metro Atlanta attorney Michael Shaw pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing more than $500,000 from Atlanta law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Shaw, a 37-year-old resident of Mableton, Ga., worked as an associate attorney at Greenberg Traurig, specializing in bankruptcy and commercial-foreclosure litigation. From 2003 to 2009, Shaw regularly performed investigative services for clients himself, but submitted invoices in the name of an investigator who also worked for the firm. These invoices totaled $90,000.

At the same time, Shaw performed title-examination services for clients himself, but submitted invoices to the firm in the name of a fictitious vendor. He obtained the vendor’s social security number from federal bankruptcy filings and submitted fraudulent W-9 forms in the vendor’s name. These invoices totaled $425,000.

For almost six years, Shaw regularly performed work for clients, submitted fraudulent invoices to the firm’s accounting department, received checks, endorsed the checks over to himself, and deposited the funds into his personal checking account. He also continued to receive his regular law firm salary.

In June 2009, the law firm completed a client’s billing review, discovered the misconduct and fired Shaw. He was also disbarred by the Georgia State Bar.

He now faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is set for Jan. 5, 2011.


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