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White-collar crime specialist fesses up to $10m scam

By Megan Malloy

04 October 2012 at 10:29 BST

A high-flying Manhattan-based white-collar crime defence lawyer pleaded guilty earlier this week to pilfering more than $10 million from his firm's clients and squandering the cash in strip clubs and up-market restaurants.

Hong Kong: lawyer extradited

Cleary's Hong Kong office has 37 lawyers, including six partners

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, former Crowell & Moring lawyer Douglas Arntsen,34, began working for the firm in February 2007 and started embezzling money from the investment fund Doina Capital in 2009. To cover the shortfalls, he began stealing from Regal Real Estate the following year. He then used the funds to pay for ‘expensive restaurants, sporting events and strip clubs,’ according to prosecutors.

Runner to Hong Kong

A Regal Real Estate employee confronted Arntsen in September 2011 about the missing funds, which he confessed to stealing. He then resigned from the firm and fled to Hong Kong where he was arrested and extradited by the US.
Arntsen was ordered to pay $9.8 million in restitution to Crowell & Moring and $967,501 to Doina Capital. Three other lawsuits brought by real estate companies claiming the lawyer stole funds from their accounts were settled but not publicly disclosed.
 Arntsen pleaded guilty to three counts of grand larceny and one count of fraud; he is scheduled to be sentenced on 17 October.
‘We regret the harm caused by Douglas Arntsen to our clients and our firm and are pleased Mr Arntsen has acknowledged his crimes with a guilty plea,’ said Ellen Dwyer, Cromwell & Moring’s managing partner.


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