A prominent lawyer is headed to prison after spending years defrauding his clients. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             A prominent lawyer is headed to prison after spending years defrauding his clients. God, another lawyer story. Outta California. Yeah. We just got done with the Tom Girardi story. Right?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             This lawyer out there that was Mr. Politics, you know, he got judges appointed. He got, he was the man to see for politics. He was in that business out in LA for Tom Girardi, out in the, for, for a long time. And all of a sudden, after years of people complaining, I think he’s stealing from clients, after years of doing that, Barr does nothing about it. Nobody, no regulatory does anything about it. And they, in the end, he stole, what, he stole $300 million from clients.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. It was an absurd about. Far more than Michael Avenatti could even dream of.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  But Avenatti was getting there.

Mike Papantonio:             Avenatti, Avenatti was pretty good. He was a pretty good thief. Tom Girardi, obviously a better thief. This guy, kind of a slow, small operator. But let’s talk about him.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, absolutely. You were talking about a guy named Matthew Elstein, and he stole a couple hundred thousand. So he was, you know, working his way up there. But basically what this man did is, is almost even more nefarious than some of these other folks because he wasn’t even actually filing lawsuits for the people that, that hired him. He would forge the documents and show it to them, saying, all right, well this is the lawsuit of yours that I filed. Now you have to pay me all of this money. And then he would come back and say, well, it didn’t. They, they threw it out.

Mike Papantonio:             Mm-hmm.

Farron Cousins:                  You know, there, there is actually no case. I’m sorry, but you know, now you gotta pay me more.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah. Actually creating an order from the judge and saying, this judge signed this. Then he forges the order and it, he forges even, he, he even creates mythical pleadings. I filed this pleading and asked for a deposition and it’s been delayed. Well, no, nothing’s been filed. Literally complaints have not even been filed. And these, these companies are paying him.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             Here, thanks. It looks like you did a lot of work. Here’s another $50,000. Well, the good news is he’s caught, he lost his license. He said he had a degenerative, a degenerative frontal lobe problem, but there was no signs to ever, ever stand behind the.

Farron Cousins:                  No. And, and a degenerative frontal lobe problem is not going to cause you to forge documents or, it may make you forget some things, but it doesn’t literally turn you into a criminal, which is what this man is.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, thank, thank goodness the judge saw beyond it. The judge said, we’re not buying that. You’re going to prison, old friend.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.