An American lawyer, identified as Philip James Layfield, 44, was arrested by the authorities of his country as a suspect of “laundering” more than $ 2 million in Costa Rica, funds that were transferred to the country as a result of an alleged fraud committed against a client in the state of California.
A press release from the US Department of Justice states that the money should have been paid to the victim of a traffic accident represented by Layfield. However, the lawyer took the money and came to live in Costa Rica. The man was arrested after making a trip to New Jersey, United States and was transferred to Los Angeles by the Marshals Service of that country.
Layfield owned and operated the law firm Layfield & Barrett (L & B), which maintained offices in Irvine, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. With the decrease in revenue, Lawfield decided to close the company and move to Costa Rica. Around that time, according to the indictment, Layfield took a series of measures that defrauded his clients, including filing unnecessary litigation to increase attorneys’ fees, resolving personal injury cases without informing L & B clients, and stealing funds that should have been paid to them,”
says the statement from the US Department of State.
According to Los Angeles judicial authorities, Layfield reached an agreement to represent a person who was hit by a car in Orange County in 2016 and suffered serious injuries.
After negotiating a $3.9 million settlement related to the accident, Layfield allegedly misappropriated most of the victim’s money: approximately $2 million. The indictment alleges that he transferred part of the victim’s cut to his personal bank accounts and part to the L & B payroll. The indictment alleges that the car accident victim received only $ 25,000 from the proceeds of the agreement,”
quotes the statement.