SARASOTA (FOX 13) - A now-disbarred Sarasota attorney was arrested for allegedly misappropriating at least $215,352.39 from his clients.
Sarasota police announced Thursday they arrested 63-year-old Jordan Wallach on a grand theft charge. They said he committed the crime while he practiced as a divorce and family attorney between December 2014 and August 2017.
"I'm extremely disappointed in him because I trusted him. My whole family trusted him," said Tiffany Scott.
Scott said her mother set up her estate through Wallach.
"You're supposed to be able to trust your attorney - and the attorney that she trusted to take care of us and finish the process for her children," she told FOX 13 News.
In September 2017, police say Tiffany Scott tried to cash a life insurance check from Wallach's law firm, but it bounced.
During the following month, an emergency petition was issued for him to replace the funds. When that didn't happen, police said Wallach's accounts were frozen.
"They put him in a very high responsibility with their money," said Sarasota Police Detective Ross Revill.
Sarasota police detectives said they spoke to victims in November 2017 who said they hired Wallach to handle family fiscal matters. According to them, they tried to gather funds entrusted to Wallach, but their money was never returned, police said.
Police said they later learned Wallach was writing checks not listed in accounting records and was transferring money to his own accounts.
"From what the checks look like they were mostly other businesses, paying other fees to people who weren't associated to the trust fund," said Detective Revill.
In February 2018, detectives attempted to speak with Wallach, but he declined. Detectives said they forwarded evidence to the State Attorney's Office, leading to Wallach's arrested Thursday.
"I'm thankful that it stopped with us. I think it would have continued past us and turned into a huge snowball," Scott said. "We have not been able to have closure in the whole process of losing our mom."
Wallach was voluntarily disbarred by the Florida Bar in January 2018, according to a media release.
Police want to know if there are other victims. Anyone who believes they could have been a victim is asked to call Sarasota Police Detective Ross Revill at (941) 954-7092 or submit an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling (941) 366-8477 or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com.