Let’s say you come back to your law firm after a pleasurable vacation, and you are asked a rather straightforward question: “What happened to the money we gave you to pay our vendors and insurance companies?” Casually you think of the fake bank account you set up and the $737,000 in funds that you’ve diverted over the years. You thought this day might come, and yet you are without any prepared alibi. You lamely say that have no idea how that money ended up in your own private bank account, and you promise to look into the matter. If this scenario sounds familiar than you have a lot in common with 37-year-old Brian Mularski of Bayside who has been charged with two felony counts of theft for the embezzlement of nearly a million dollars from his employers, Eisenberg Riley & Zimmerman.
Perhaps it started subtly enough, with a single cashed check. Nobody seemed to notice. Why not start another? The facts, however, are clear. In January 2006, Mularski opened a bank account named Mularski Law Office, and by the end of the year had embezzled $179,000. One year and 85 checks later, he had snagged another 240,000 by the end of 2007 — but why stop there? In 2008, 70 checks had made him $291,847 richer, and by the end of 2009 he was up to a grand total of over $700,000.
For his part, he did repay $236,000 of the funds that “mysteriously” ended up in his bank account. Much of the money had already been spent on “various personal and business expenses not related to Eisenberg firm.” Nevertheless, he was charged for embezzlement, and risks up to 20 years in prison — ten years for each count. He is due in court on Thursday.
Mularski had already had his law license revoked in 2010 — unsurprisingly, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court had cited a series of ethical violations regarding his personal injury practice.