Delco Lawyer Accused Of Stealing From Clients Heading To Court

NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA – An attorney who practices law in the NEWTOWN SQUARE area will appear in court for a preliminary arraignment this week on charges of unlawful taking, theft of services, theft by deception, and receiving stolen property, according to court records.

Gregory G. Stagliano, 62, of Villanova, is set to appear in court on Wednesday, Sept. 20, according to court records.

Stagliano was released from custody June 1 after posting 10 percent of $100,000 bail, court records show.

Stagliano, who practices law in the NEWTOWN SQUARE area, was charged after an investigation began in July 2016 when information was received from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania that Stagliano, a personal injury attorney, stole settlement money owed to his clients, the Delaware County District Attorney's office said.

The first incident allegedly occurred in 2016 when Stagliano received two checks totaling $65,000, both which were made payable to Stagliano and a car accident victim he represented, the DA's office said.

The first check was received on Nov. 6, 2016 in the amount of $50,000 from Allstate Insurance and the second check from Nationwide Insurance was dated Dec. 19, 2014 for $15,000, the DA's office said.

The DA's office said both checks were deposited into Stagliano’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) account.

After receiving only $7,500 in partial distribution of the funds, the victim attempted to contact Stagliano more than 30 times in regards to the whereabouts of the money she was owed, according to the DA's office.

The DA's office said eventually Stagliano allegedly told the victim "I wish you to cease your continued harassing communications in this regard and if you do not, we will go about it in a different way."

Stagliano then represented in his fiduciary statement that he owed $40,000 to the victim, the DA's office said. Further investigation of his bank records revealed that the settlement funds had been spent by Stagliano, with an actual balance of only $133.77 in his account, according to the DA's office

As a result of an investigation into the eight other theft cases, allof which show a similar pattern of theft, investigators determined that on nine separate occasions Stagliano deposited funds into his own Santander Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA), ranging in $3,000 to $50,000, keeping his clients money for his own personal use, the DA's office said.

Further investigation into bank records show that he allegedly spent the money in the account to pay taxes on properties he owns in Delaware County, according to the DA's office.

The DA's office is urging anyone who believes they have been victimized by Stagliano to contact the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division at (610) 891-8745.

Residents with questions regarding an attorney are encouraged to look up that attorney on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania website here.

"As prosecutors, we find the violation of his sworn fiduciary responsibly especially disturbing and Mr. Stagliano used this position in order to fund his own lavish lifestyle and pay his own personal debts with his clients’ money," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said in a statement. "Individuals should be able to trust their attorneys and abusing that trust is both unethical and in this case criminal. Today’s arrest of Mr. Stagliano should send a clear message that no one is above the law."

Image via Delaware County District Attorney's Office

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Originally published Sep 18, 2017.

Source : https://patch.com/pennsylvania/marplenewtown/delco-lawyer-accused-stealing-clients-heading-court

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