Thursday, April 19, 2007
Article in today's Daily Business Review -- Asbestos Attorney Accepts 10-Year Term in Plea Deal:
Louis Robles, a nationally prominent Miami plaintiffs attorney who was charged with stealing millions of dollars from thousands of asbestos clients nationwide, has accepted a plea deal that calls for him to serve 10 years in prison and provide full restitution to his victims.
According to sources within the U.S. Attorney's office in Miami, Robles, 59, accepted the plea deal Monday. He is scheduled to appear Friday before U.S. District Judge Alan Gold to enter a guilty plea.
The plea deal is the latest chapter in the spectacular fall of the class action and mass tort lawyer, who was a star in the South Florida legal community. Robles at one time had 40 lawyers on his staff and more than 12,000 class action clients around the country. He focused on asbestos cases, traveling around the country in a van with a doctor and X-ray machine, signing up clients and advertising on national television.
In 2002, the Daily Business Review was the first to report on a four-year investigation into Robles by the Florida Bar. The Bar had received numerous complaints about Robles paying clients little or nothing on their asbestos settlements, charging contingency fees of more than 50 percent and having clients pay for his airfare, food, phone bills and other costs not previously disclosed. He abruptly closed his downtown Miami office in 2002 and soon after filed for bankruptcy.
Robles was disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court in May 2003. About a year later, the Review disclosed that a federal grand jury was looking into an indictment against Robles. ...