|For Immediate Release
Case # 12CF2363
September 6, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
FORMER ATTORNEY TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR EMBEZZLING OVER $150,000 IN INSURANCE CLAIMS AND DEFRAUDING HIS CLIENTS
*Defendant is not eligible to practice law in California
SANTA ANA- A former attorney will be arraigned tomorrow for embezzling over $150,000 in insurance claims and defrauding his clients. Tuan Thanh Tran, 43, Irvine, is charged with five felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust and 11 felony counts of forgery. If convicted, Tran faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison. The People are requesting the defendant be held on $150,000 bail at his arraignment tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Between May 2011 to February 2012, Tran is accused of representing five separate clients who were looking for legal representation and seeking compensatory damages for civil lawsuits related to traffic accidents.
While representing his clients, the defendant is accused of settling with the insurance companies involved in the lawsuits without informing his clients, forging his clients’ signatures on their insurance checks and settlement forms, and keeping the money for himself. The defendant is accused of embezzling a total of over $150,000 from his five clients.
One of the victims reported the theft to the Irvine Police Department, who followed up with an investigation after receiving materials related to the case from an investigator with the State Bar of California.
Tran was admitted to the State Bar of California Nov. 23, 1999. The defendant’s clients in this case and former clients unrelated to this case submitted several complaints to the State Bar of California. On June 28, 2012, Tran became ineligible to practice law in California.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Olivieri of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.