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Law Firms Get in on the Ponzi Fun

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By Kevin Fayle on May 04, 2009 4:00 PM

Everywhere you look these days, it seems like someone's getting busted for running a Ponzi scheme. 

Not to be left out, an internet-based law firm has apparently decided to get in on the action, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The Courthouse News Service reports that a group of plaintiffs have filed suit against Criminal Defense Associates, Inc., alleging that the firm took their retainers without applying the funds to the plaintiffs' matters. 

According to the complaint:

"At the time of retaining Criminal Defense Associates, defendant was not in a financial situation where they would use the retainer from the client to pay for the services contracted for. Defendant was using monies from one to pay for another case and this was not disclosed to plaintiffs."

The whole thing unraveled after Criminal Defense Associates had about 150 active cases.

That must have been taxing for the firm's founder and sole shareholder since, according to plaintiffs, the attorney "had no experience handling criminal matters."  The complaint further alleges that the plaintiffs typically put down a deposit of approximately $50,000.

As with many other Ponzi schemes, you have to ask yourself how people fell for it.  After all, who sends an attorney they've never met before $50,000?  Wouldn't that request strike you as rather odd?