Southeastern PA

Disbarred attorney charged with stealing over $146,000 from clients

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - The Montgomery County District Attorney announced the arrest of disbarred attorney Patrick Bradley on multiple felonies for the theft and misappropriation of more than $146,000 in client funds meant to help those with special needs.

The 45-year-old Collegeville man now faces a number of charges, including theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, and unauthorized practice of law.

The DA's office says back in August of 2016 it received information about Bradley from the state's Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court. 

Authorities say the ODC performed its own investigation into Bradley's handling of client funds dating back to 2013 which led to the suspension of his law license. But Bradley continued to practice law without a license and was disbarred in September, 2016.

The DA's office then took over the case and, following an investigation by the Montgomery County Detective Bureau, found Bradley established and managed special needs trust agreements for five clients through his law firm.

Investigators say he established himself as the sole trustee and used assets in the accounts for his own benefit, totaling $116, 340.01.

He was also paid by seven additional victims to provide legal services in obtaining orders and guardianships for families with a special needs family member, but failed to perform the necessary legal work and used $30,577 for his own personal use.

Montgomery County officials say Bradley used the money to pay for his home mortgage payment, gas, restaurant meals, movie tickets, sporting goods, cell phone bills and many other personal items.

"The defendant's actions in unlawfully taking a significant sum of money earmarked to help those with special needs is not only illegal but it's disturbing on a basic human level," said DA Kevin Steele.

The 12 victims affected by the Bradley case are in various stages of applying to have their list funds reimbursed through the state's Lawyers Fund for Client Security.

The DA's office says while the investigation is centered on 12 victims, there may be more.

Anyone with information concerning questionable legal interactions or use of their funds by Bradley is asked to call the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.

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