Former Lindquist & Vennum partner Michael Scott Margulies pled guilty in Minneapolis federal court Tuesday to embezzling around $2 million from his clients and the firm.
Margulies, who was fired from the firm March 15 after the embezzlement came to light and has already been disbarred, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. He has been released pending sentencing and was required to hand over his passport.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Margulies stole his clients’ money through a phony business he had established. Lindquist managing partner Daryle Uphoff told the paper the firm became suspicious of Margulies when he double-billed a client and then delayed repaying them.
Additional investigating found Margulies also had filed false expense reports. Margulies apparently used the stolen funds to refurbish a mansion he owned in St. Paul.
According to the plea agreement, Margulies admitted to stealing the money beginning in 1994 in the form of fraudulent expense reports, invoices and forged checks.
Margulies practiced law for 32 years. He agreed to be disbarred when he was fired by Lindquist & Vennum.
The nearly 40-year-old Lindquist & Vennum has 200 attorneys working in offices in Minnesota and Colorado.