Saturday, February 19, 2011
Attorney Robert N. Wilkey's employer was surprised to learn Friday that the associate it had hired from the plaintiffs boutique located a few floors up had been charged by Upper Saucon Township police with identity theft less than a week earlier.
The Lehigh County district attorney's office announced last week that Wilkey had been charged with three counts of first degree misdemeanor identity theft for allegedly using a client's personal information to apply for three credit cards.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Wilkey, while working as an associate at Conshohocken, Pa.-based plaintiffs firm Pogust Braslow & Millrood, applied for three credit cards online using client Marco Orellana's identity, prosecutors said.
Harris L. Pogust, a founding partner of Pogust Braslow, told The Legal Intelligencer last week that the firm fired Wilkey about a year ago after being contacted by an Upper Saucon police officer regarding the criminal investigation.
Wilkey was subsequently hired as an associate at plaintiffs firm Villari Brandes & Kline, the main office of which is located in the same Conshohocken building as Pogust Braslow.
When The Legal Intelligencer contacted Villari Brandes co-founding partner Peter M. Villari Friday morning regarding the charges against Wilkey, he seemed caught off guard.
"Robert works with us," he said. "To be frank, I'm not up to speed on what you're referring to." On Friday afternoon, the firm sent a statement to The Legal Intelligencer regarding the situation.
"Per your request for a statement ... please be advised this matter was just brought to our attention today," the release said. "We have been assured that none of Mr. Wilkey's alleged conduct occurred during his employment with our firm. As to Mr. Wilkey, we are presently handling this matter internally, and have no further comment." According to the arrest affidavit, Wilkey told Upper Saucon Detective Joseph Pochron he met Orellana while the two attended the same church and, through that relationship, took Orellana on as client.
Pogust told The Legal Intelligencer Orellana was not a client of the firm's.
"I don't know what Robert was doing before he came here or on the side, but this didn't involve any of our clients," he said.
The Hellertown-Lower Saucon Patch had this report of the December 2010 sentencing. (Mike Frisch)