Attorney allegedly takes advance money and more than his share when settlement reached.
A Santa Clarita man was arrested Friday at his home on charges of embezzlement and forgery by investigators from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
J. Jeffrey Long, 60, is a former attorney who practiced law in California for more than 20 years before being deemed ineligible by the State Bar of California.
Long is charged with three counts of grand theft by embezzlement and one count of forgery. He is due to be arraigned at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center early this week.
Long is accused of misappropriating more than $150,000 between June 2006 and July 2007 from a client who hired the defendant to represent him in a law suit. The victim retained Long on a contingency fee basis, agreeing to pay the attorney one-third of any settlement.
Long allegedly began to steal from his client after receiving $50,000 in advance of the final settlement. Prosecutors allege that, in this instance, the former attorney kept more than one-third his share.
Later, after reaching a $300,000 settlement, Long allegedly told his client he could not wait for the settlement check and convinced the man to co-sign a $75,000 advance loan as part of his share. Upon receiving the remaining balance of the $300,000 settlement, Long allegedly underpaid his client by nearly $120,000 and failed to repay the advance, making his client legally liable for the loan.
In a separate matter, Long allegedly settled a case against the wishes of another client, forged her name on the $20,000 settlement check and embezzled the money.
If convicted of all counts, Long faces a maximum sentence of six years and four months in state prison. The recommended bail amount is $220,000.