While Crowell & Moring lawyers are still scratching their heads over the fact that one of their seemingly pleasant former associates stole millions from a client, the law firm has just been slapped with a third lawsuit tied to the thieving employee’s actions.
Real-estate company BCN 16th ST has filed suit against Crowell & Moring claiming the firm owes it more than $1 million in escrow money that Douglas Arntsen, a former associate at the firm, stole. In its suit, the company claims that the law firm failed to exercise proper control over its escrow account.
Arntsen, a 33-year-old real estate lawyer who had worked at Crowell & Moring since 2007, unexpectedly quit his job in September. Soon after, one of the firm’s clients discovered that $4 million was missing from one of its escrow accounts maintained by the firm.
Arntsen admitted to stealing the money and promised to return it, but instead he fled to Hong Kong, where authorities arrested him. He faces a criminal charge for first-degree grand larceny, and he and the firm are named as defendants in two lawsuits.
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