Thursday, June 7, 2012
The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging false billings by a Chicago attorney:
In 2011, Respondent was employed by a law firm in Chicago. During his employment at the firm, Respondent prepared records of the time he expended on behalf of clients, and he knew that any time he recorded, unless it was edited out of the bills by another attorney, would be billed to the firm’s clients at an hourly rate of $250.
Between June 13, 2011 and June 30, 2011, Respondent was involved in reviewing documents for a project involving a client of the firm’s. During that time, Respondent recorded a total of 37.5 hours on the project. In July and August of 2011, Respondent performed little or no work on the client matter, but recorded 83.3 and 177.1 hours, respectively, on the matter. Respondent’s sixteen entries for July and 31 entries for August were limited to one of three similar descriptions of work he claimed to have performed, in amounts of time ranging from 3.5 to 6.0 hours each day.
Respondent’s description of the services he claimed to have provided in July and August, and the descriptions of the services he claimed to have provided, were false, because Respondent recorded time for services he did not actually provide in amounts that vastly overstated any actual amount of work he performed.
On August 31, 2011, the firm sent a bill to its client asking it to pay, among other charges, $20,825 for the 83.3 hours Respondent claimed to have expended on the client’s behalf in July. Respondent’s false billing was discovered before his false billings for August, totaling $44,275, were sent to the client. Respondent’s firm later waived the $30,250 it charged its client for Respondent’s purported work during June and July, 2011.