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Valpo attorney charged with $1.6M theft held in contempt in civil suit

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A Porter County lawyer allegedly stole more than $1.6 million from four companies owned by a client he represented for decades, according to criminal charges filed against him.

Meanwhile, the companies that Clark W. Holesinger of Valparaiso represented have filed separate civil tort and malpractice suits against him, and a judge this month held him in direct contempt for failing to appear at a hearing.

Holesinger, 52, was charged Feb. 12 with four counts of Class C felony theft in excess of $100,000. The charges were filed after the companies he represented – ITF LLC, Maridor LLC, North Star Stone Inc., and RBF Island Investment LLC – sued him in Porter Superior Court.

Charging information accuses Holesinger of stealing $817,962 from North Star Stone; $233,410 from RBF; $215,406 from ITF; and $371,736 from Maridor, with the earliest alleged thefts taking place in February 2011. All of the companies are located in Valparaiso and owned by Chris Andrews, according to the probable cause affidavit, which says Holesinger also had been Andrews’ family attorney since the mid-1990s.

Holesinger was the business attorney for North Star Stone, responsible for calculating tax liability and filing returns, among other things. North Star would provide checks on a monthly basis for Holesinger to cover tax liabilities and attorney fees.

But North Star, a maker of manufactured stone and fireplaces, late last year received a notice of levy for unpaid taxes and its business account was frozen. A forensic accountant discovered that for almost two years Holesinger had been cashing checks that North Star wrote to cover sales, payroll and corporate income taxes. Those taxes had gone unpaid, according to the probable cause affidavit.

With respect to the other companies Holesinger represented as a business attorney, he is accused of writing more than 68 unauthorized checks to himself as well as making unauthorized wire transfers.  

The civil tort suit details the numerous checks that were written to pay taxes but instead were allegedly converted to Holesinger’s use, including 97 exhibits of alleged misappropriation. The suit seeks treble damages, attorney fees and accounting costs.

The suit also names a fifth company, MLA LLC, that Holesinger is accused of stealing from while serving as business counsel. He allegedly stole $43,554 from that company by using personal computer transfer debits from the company’s bank account.

Porter Superior Judge William Alexa on Feb. 6 issued an ordered in the civil suit finding Holesinger in direct contempt of court for failing to appear at a Jan. 24 hearing on the plaintiffs’ petition for accounting.

Holesinger’s attorney in the civil action, Patrick Devine of Schererville, did not respond Monday to a message seeking comment. Calls to Holesinger’s law firm on Monday were directed to voice mail, and a message wasn’t immediately returned.

Holesinger was admitted to practice in 1987 and is listed on the Indiana Roll of Attorneys as active in good standing with no prior discipline.
 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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