Disbarred Winter Park Attorney Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Clients And Banks Of $2.7 Million
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Julie W. Kronhaus (52, Winter Park) has pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud. She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for the wire fraud count and up to 30 years’ imprisonment for the bank fraud count. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the plea agreement, from June 2009 to February 17, 2015, Kronhaus, who was a licensed attorney and Certified Public Accountant in Florida, defrauded her clients and banks of approximately $2.7 million. As part of her practice, Kronhaus would act as a trustee for her clients and also hold their money in various bank accounts depending on the purpose of trust. Instead of using the funds for the purpose intended by her clients, Kronhaus would divert the money into her law firm’s bank accounts and pay for her personal expenses.
In addition, Kronhaus engaged in a check kiting scheme where she would write checks with accounts that had insufficient funds. She would deposit the worthless checks into her trust account at another bank to give the appearance that there were sufficient funds in the account. She then issued checks from her trust account to her clients, taking advantage of the bank’s float time.
This case was investigated by the Seminole Financial Crimes Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James D. Mandolfo.