Two South Florida lawyers are in serious trouble after scamming a client, and now they will have to pay back all of the $275,000 they took from his family.
It all started when Patrick Coulton was arrested. Coulton pleaded guilty to the charges against him and was sentenced to 14 years in prison; as part of his plea deal, prosecutors said they would later recommend reducing his time.
So when the time came for Coulton’s sentence to be reduced, prosecutors made good on their promise, but the man’s two attorneys Emmanuel Roy and Peter Mayas were nowhere to be found. In fact, Coulton hadn’t heard from them since his sentencing, and his family had already paid them over $275,000 and had given them assets like a townhome, jewelry that included a gold medal purchased at the Vatican, and Coulton’s wife’s $23,000 wedding/engagement ring set.
Coulton’s new lawyer, Paul Petruzzi, uncovered the scam and brought it to court. After Coulton was released, the case against the two lawyers began, although neither responded to the charges against them for months. Petruzzi was able to determine that the case should only have cost Coulton and his family around $50,000.
"Guys like them are the reason people hate lawyers," said Petruzzi. "They took everything from him and his family. I took it personally because this is what I do for a living. Lawyers are supposed to help people."
Now, Roy and Mayas have been ordered to pay back the over $275,000 to Coulton’s family, as well as $100,000 in legal fees to Petruzzi. Roy is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for unrelated mortgage fraud charges, and both lawyers have started paying back Coulton. Coulton is now also living in Mayas’ home as determined by a judge. Coulton says it’s interesting how everything has come full circle.
"Even though they threw me under the bus, there's a certain sense of unease about acquiring a house in this fashion," said Coulton after moving into Mayas’ home. "I almost feel sorry for them."
A Florida man was arrested last week after a “joke” tweet he sent to a local news anchor was actually taken seriously.
Martin Pierro, 41, responded to WPEC anchorman John Discepolo after the reporter tweeted, “cbs 12 wants to keep you and your money safe! So what does moving have to do with it? The new scam we uncovered … next at 5.”
Pierro’s response? “Someone is hiding in your house waiting to kill you … find out where … tonight at 11.”
Apparently, that response didn’t sit well with Discepolo. The news anchor immediately tweeted back, “Not something to joke about … not cool.”
Pierro, a publisher and comic book writer at Cosmic Times, wanted to make sure that Discepolo knew that his original response was a joke, so he tweeted back, “Oh come on that’s an old school broadcasters joke. I was just poking fun at your ‘teases’ for the nightly news.”
It seems that Discepolo didn’t find any of this funny, and now he’s pressing charges against Pierro for threatening to kill him. Pierro maintains that he was just joking around, but Discepolo says he was concerned for his and his family’s safety.
Pierro was released on $5,000 bail the morning after his arrest and said that the impending legal battle he faces is, “one I never thought I would have to deal with in a million years and one that no doubt will cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars.” He took to Facebook following his release in order to thank his family and friends for sticking by him and express his dismay over the situation.
“I wish I could comment on it and explain how I am being railroaded here – but seeing as I have been informed that ALL of my social media is being monitored … I feel it would be best to save those conversations for another day,” wrote an obviously shaken Pierro. “I won’t be able to comment on any of your supportive posts going forward, but wanted you to know that the posts and messages have been received and are very helpful to me and my family as we deal with this dark chapter. For me it will be business as usual, I will continue to make my silly little facebook and twitter posts as I continue to work on strengthening Cosmic Times in preparation for 2014. But let me say this – be careful what you say openly … the world has changed drastically in the last few years and what was touted as progress has only made things worse and has weakened the very foundation this great country was built upon.”
Since the story has made its way around the Internet, people have had mixed reactions. Many stand behind Pierro and say that Discepolo overreacted, but others say that Pierro made a bad decision in tweeting what he did. It doesn’t appear that Discepolo has made any remarks about the matter just yet.
After moving to Surprise, Ariz., from Ohio, a retired firefighter started becoming more of a night owl.
"My wife, she's an ER nurse and works three 12-hour shifts, so I adjusted my schedule to be like her schedule," said Jessie Thornton.
His late hours, unfortunately, have resulted in a lot of police contact.
"I've been stopped 10 times in Surprise and given four tickets, it's amazing," Thornton said.
His latest incident with police, during which he was arrested for a DUI despite taking a breathalyzer that came back with a blood alcohol level of 0.000, has prompted him to hire a lawyer.
Thornton described the scene when he was pulled over shortly after leaving LA Fitness.
"I take my glasses off and he says, 'You've got bloodshot eyes,'" Thorton said. "I said, 'I've been swimming at LA Fitness,' and he says, 'I think you're DUI.' [The officer] goes, 'Well we're going to do a sobriety test.' I said, 'OK, but I got bad knees and a bad hip with surgery in two days.'"
After officers conducted the sobriety test, Thornton was placed in handcuffs and told to sit on the curb, WCPO reported.
"I couldn't even sit on the ground like that and they knew it and I was like laying on the ground, then they put me in the back of an SUV and when I asked the officer to move her seat up 'cause my hip hurt she told me to stop whining," Thornton said.
Thornton said the incident was not DUI, it was DWB.
"It was driving while black," Thornton said.
Thornton's attorney, Marc Victor, filed a notice of claim against the City of Surprise seeking $500,000.
A video about the story is below:
Lindsay Lohan's attorney Mark Heller may be in some deep shit for allegedly trying to get her ex-assistant Gavin Doyle to lie and say he was driving the Porschethat Lindsay crashed on PCH last year:
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ the Santa Monica City Attorney will be launching an investigation and will interview Lohan's ex-assistant Gavin Doyle tomorrow in the presence of police.
We're told prosecutors believe Heller may have approached Gavin and tried to get him to admit that he was the one driving the vehicle when Lohan's Porsche crashed into a big rig on Pacific Coast Highway last summer.
TMZ has learned Gavin has told multiple people about the alleged witness tampering including an officer of the court.
OK, I know that headline was a bit misleading. It's Lindsay's lawyer -- and not her -- that's under investigation for witness tampering. Hey, that counts as progress, right? When someone fucks up more than you, that's the first step down the road to success! I think Tony Robbins actually said that.
John Conrad Wagner was found dead in his Philadelphia apartment from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Wagner was beginning to emerge as a top suspect in the shooting death of his mother Carolyn. She was killed in December. Her death happened just 15 months after Wagner’s father Roger died during a hiking accident. Wagner was with his father at the time so many are now questioning how accidental that death really was.
Wagner was on trip with his father at Mount Rainier National Park in Washington in 2011. He said that he and his father were walking along a trail at the top of a canon when his father stopped to take pictures and slipped. He fell 40 feet into a stream. Roger's body was found downstream from a massive waterfall. It was ruled an accidental death.
Wagner was a lawyer. Authorities think that he killed his mother because of the financial pressures he was facing because of his student loans. He believed that it was going to take him 20 years to pay back the loans. Police theorize that Wager thought that if he killed his mother, he would stand to inherit all of her assets and bank accounts, reports The Daily Mail. He was overlooking claims for firms representing pharmaceutical companies at the time of his death.
After his dad died, Wagner refused to talk about, even with his mother.
“It did bother her,” said Carolyn’s friend Patty Batsch. “I think she did have questions. She said when the time is right she was going to try and talk to him about it.”
She also was aware of Wagner’s financial issues.
“Carolyn was hopeful that he would get married, settle down and get a permanent job. It's just that he had some student-loan debt that was heavy. It was taking up a lot of his salary. He just felt like he couldn't.”
Source: (The Daily Mail)