Nearly four years ago, Americans everywhere were stunned when Casey Anthony was acquitted of the murder of her 2 year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony.
While most people across the country believed Anthony was undoubtedly guilty, her legal team launched an epic defense that ultimately secured her freedom. While Anthony’s lawyers congratulated themselves on a job well done, one of these lawyers has now landed himself in big trouble, and it could create a ripple effect that has a devastating impact on Anthony.
Todd Macaluso, who successfully defended Anthony alongside legal powerhouse Jose Baez, has now been accused of defrauding clients out of money they were owed in an attempt to keep his legal practice open. Macaluso has since confessed to scamming his clients, as well as falsifying signatures on documents and notary stamps so that he could convince investors to invest millions of dollars in his practice.
According to the Inquistr, the FBI caught Macaluso defrauding many clients that he represented as a personal injury lawyer. After they launched an extensive investigation, the lawyer broke down and confessed to defrauding his clients by providing their information on fund agreements. He added that many of his clients were unaware that they had ever been scammed in the first place.
Records state that Macaluso now faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud, as well as a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, restitution to his clients, forfeiture, and a $100 special assessment.
“Individuals who have suffered a personal injury should not have to worry about being victimized by their own advocate,” warned noted attorney Laura E. Duffy. “The defendant’s conviction should be a stark reminder that attorneys and other fiduciaries will be prosecuted if they fraudulently misuse the privileges society has given them.”
The FBI has commented that this case shows just how seriously they take the crime of wire fraud.
“Mr. Macaluso betrayed his clients’ trust by putting his clients’ personal injury recoveries on the hook without their knowledge or consent,” said Special Agent Eric S. Birnbaum. “The FBI is committed to maintaining the integrity of our justice system by aggressively investigating those individuals that violate their fiduciary responsibilities through fraudulent schemes that victimize the American public.”
While Casey Anthony can never be tried again for the murder of her daughter thanks to double jeopardy, this does add another layer of contempt for her final lawyer. While her defense was what set her free, it was also spearheaded by a criminal who may go to jail for 20 years. This is sure to make the public trust Anthony even less than they did before.