News from BSO

SCHEME TO DEFRAUD LANDS LOCAL LAWYER IN JAIL

BSO Case Number: PB07-06-09999
PIO Number: 08-3-20
Date: December 2005 - Present
Place of Occurrence: Broward and Palm Beach Counties

Victim(s):

  • State of Florida

Suspect(s):

  • Patrick Joseph Dooley, 45, 9/28/62, male, 8110 NW 59 Place, Tamarac

Description of Incident:

A personal injury attorney, who won hefty settlements for his clients and kept more than $250,000 for himself, has been disbarred and now faces several felony charges.

Broward Sheriff’s Office Economic Crime detectives began investigating Patrick Joseph Dooley’s fraudulent activities after receiving complaints from some of his clients. Further investigation revealed that other victims filed complaints with The Florida Bar in order to get financial compensation through the Florida Bar Client’s Security Fund.

Investigators said beginning on or about December 1, 2005, Dooley was accepting his clients’ insurance settlement checks and depositing then into his escrow account. Dooley would get his clients to sign and return the checks to him or forge their signatures. BSO detectives said in some of the cases, he kept all the money, and in other cases Dooley only returned a portion of the clients’ settlement. At least seven victims filed complaints, and a warrant was issued for Dooley’s arrest.

BSO Economic Crime detectives tracked down Dooley in Las Vegas, Nevada where he was arrested on March 17, and extradited back to Broward County to face several felony counts of grand theft, scheme to defraud and uttering a forged instrument. He was booked at BSO’s Main Jail on Tuesday in lieu of a bond amount of $625,000. According to The Florida Bar’s website, on February 14, 2008, Dooley was disbarred and no longer eligible to practice in Florida.

INVESTIGATORS: Economic Crime Det. J. Calabro, RID and Economic Crime Sgt. J. Leiner, RID
THIS REPORT BY: Veda Coleman-Wright/PIO March 19, 2008 1345

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