News and Press Releases

BROWARD LAWYER SENTENCED FOR STEALING TRUST FUNDS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, announced today’s sentencing of Joseph Sindaco, 63, an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, on a mail fraud charge in connection with his embezzlement of funds from clients’ trust account. U.S. District Judge James Cohn sentenced Sindaco to 48 months in prison and ordered Sindaco to pay more than $3,879,896 in restitution to the victims. Sindaco had previously pled guilty in December 2010.

According to the criminal information and statements made in court during today’s sentencing hearing, Sindaco practiced law from 1980 through August 2010 at his law firm in Fort Lauderdale. As an attorney, he handled real estate closings for clients, mortgage lenders, and the administration of estates in state court. During that time, Sindaco misappropriated more than $3,879,896 of his clients funds. Sindaco was permanently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court on August 26, 2010.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, FBI, and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. Mr. Ferrer also thanked The Florida Bar for their assistance in this investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey H. Kay and Larry Bardfeld.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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