Former Philadelphia Attorney Sentenced to 7 1/2 Years for Stealing From Clients
PHILADELPHIA – First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Harris Roy Rosen, 65, of Sag Harbor, NY, was sentenced to 90 months in prison and one year of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone for perpetrating a scheme to steal over $796,000 from clients who had entrusted him with their insurance settlement and estate funds.
The defendant pleaded guilty in March 2020 to charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and tax evasion. From approximately 2013 through 2017, he perpetrated a complex fraud scheme through which he stole from clients of his Philadelphia law firm, Rosen and Rosen PC, to support his lavish lifestyle, including multiple homes and a luxury vehicle. The defendant routinely lied to clients about the status of their funds; forged clients’ names on settlement checks to deposit them into his personal bank accounts; forged checks to steal money from a client; and created fake bank statements to lull clients into believing that their settlement or estate funds were in appropriate bank accounts waiting to be disbursed. Ultimately, many clients did not get any of the settlement or estate funds to which they were entitled. To conceal these crimes and the resulting illicit income, Rosen also intentionally failed to file tax returns resulting in a tax loss of over $260,000.
“The defendant committed serious criminal offenses for years, stealing funds from twenty clients – I repeat, twenty clients - who trusted him with their money,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Williams. “As a lawyer, Rosen was required to abide by the highest ethical standards with regard to his clients, but instead he greedily took advantage of them. This office will continue to protect the public against fraudsters like Rosen who abuse their positions of trust.”
“It seems like Harris Rosen worked harder to steal his clients’ settlement and estate money than he did in securing those funds,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “For years, he told lies upon lies, forging checks and bank statements, all to support an extravagant lifestyle to which he apparently felt entitled. The greed and abuse of trust here are stunning. Today’s sentencing means Rosen is finally being held accountable for his actions. The FBI will continue to work to find justice for the victims of financial fraud.”
“Mr. Rosen violated the trust placed in him by his clients when he deceived and stole from them; all to enrich himself,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso. “While we enforce the nation's tax laws, we also take particular interest in cases where someone, for their own personal benefit, has taken what belonged to others. Today, justice is served and Mr. Rosen has been held fully accountable for his crime.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lesley S. Bonney.