Bad Lawyers

Suspended Michael Krill Put in Jail after Failing to Return Client Money
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Michael Krill

Summary: Suspended attorney Michael Krill has failed to return money to his clients that he invested in a fraudulent scheme so a judge put him in jail for 30 days.

Attorney Michael Krill first went and got himself suspended for misconduct. Now he is going to sit behind bars for failing to repay the money into his clients’ funds.

  
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Racine County Circuit Judge David Paulson turned down Krill’s repeated pleas for a delay in his sentencing. Krill had failed to come up with $301,000 in repayment or an additional $48,000 for fines he was given for contempt of court. He first asked for a 14-day delay before the hearing, which was immediately rejected, and then continued to ask for a delay during the hearing. He then asked for a four-day delay so he could conclude business matters and move his car, which was parked in two-hour meter spot down the street.

Paulson replied that it had been “almost seven months since we lost this money and it hasn’t come back.” He noted that Krill never produced an accounting of where the money went so there was no way for officials to figure out where the money went. Paulson did give Krill work release privileges so that he could continue to earn money during his sentence to pay back the funds.

Racine attorney Thomas Devine, who is representing some of the clients that are missing money, said, “It’s tragic. You do not want to see this happen to a lawyer.” Paulson said, “I’m going to enforce the order. I don’t know what else to do. I’m at a total loss.”

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Krill is currently being investigated by the FBI regarding an investment deal involving John Hancock’s signature. The investment deal involves $16.2 million from China that is allegedly being held in England. Investigators believe the scheme Krill was involved with created fraudulent documents, one of which had John Hancock’s signature, the same as it appears on the Declaration of Independence.

Krill claims he can’t produce the money because it is “tied up” in the investment deal that the FBI is investigating. He says his former clients were aware of the investment, yet he lacks any proof in writing to back up his claim.



His home and office have been raided as part of the investigation. A search warrant for his law office required special permission from the Department of Justice in Washington. The complex scheme, although poorly executed, cost investors over $1 million. They were told their funds would be sent to England, resulting in enormous returns. The investors were told the money would cover the costs acquired to free up a $16.2 million loan from China for NatWest, a large British bank.

NatWest is unaware of the funds supposedly being held for them on behalf of New York promoter Eric Murray, who happens to a client of Krill. There was another man named Harvey Graham, who is supposed to be a British solicitor but the man does not exist as a licensed solicitor in the country.

The missing client fund money from Krill came from an insurance settlement from a fire in Racine. The owners of the building have fired Krill and have requested that their money is given to their new attorneys. Krill was given a $500 a day fine in May for contempt of court until he could come up with the money, which was capped out of $48,000.

Krill had been ordered to jail two weeks ago by Paulson but stayed it for two weeks because Krill promised he would have the money. He told the judge on Wednesday that he “received confirmation that the Investment Trust will be funded on or before Sept. 27.” After that, he would be able to produce the client funds and pay his fine. Krill admitted to investing $300,000 of his own money but Paulson had no sympathy for him. Paulson said, “It’s not my problem. The $301,000 is my problem.”

Should attorney’s be able to access client funds and then invest the money? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about past bad investment schemes, read these articles:

Photo: jsonline.com



 

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