Former Morrison & Foerster partner Jonathan Dickstein and his wife, Barclay Lynn, have been arrested and charged with 31 felony counts over an alleged scheme that netted nearly $400,000, according to the San Francisco district attorney's office.
Prosecutors say Dickstein and Lynn collected the money as reimbursement from the San Francisco Unified School District, Anthem Blue Cross and MoFo's own self-insurance plan for special education services for their son, provided by a company called Puzzle Pieces. Nobody knew that Puzzle Pieces was actually Dickstein and Lynn, they allege.
The DA says that Dickstein and Lynn sometimes double-charged or more for the services.
"These parents, in essence, are charged with creating an elaborate scheme to defraud the school district, Blue Cross, and a private law firm to make money off of their child's special needs," DA Kamala Harris said in a news release.
Spreadsheets taken from the couple's house indicate that the scheme enabled Dickstein and Lynn to take home an extra $100,000 a year on top of Dickstein's MoFo earnings, according to prosecutors.
A spokeswoman for MoFo said Dickstein resigned from the firm five months ago. "The allegations regarding Mr. Dickstein, a former Morrison & Foerster partner, and his wife relate to claims for reimbursement for the cost of therapy services for their autistic son. Morrison & Foerster is named in the complaint as among the victims of the alleged crimes because we are self-insured under one of the policies implicated in the charges. No work by Mr. Dickstein for clients of Morrison & Foerster is implicated and our clients were not involved in any way," she said in a statement.
Dickstein joined Morrison & Foerster in 1999 and became partner in 2001. He left the firm and started a solo practice this past year. A Facebook page for his law practice that was live as recently as earlier this month is now down, but a cached version said his practice serves "established and startup companies in Licensing, Contracts, Tech Transactions, IP Counseling, Due Diligence, M&A for Life Sciences, CleanTech, IT, Software and Internet/Social Media."
Dickstein's attorney, Garrick Lew, didn't immediately return a phone call Thursday, but he told The San Francisco Chronicle that Dickstein and his wife "put a lot of work into getting whatever the child needed," he said. "In the process of getting all those needs met, there were problems."
The Chronicle also reported that Douglas Rappaport is representing Lynn.
Both Dickstein and Lynn are out on bail set at $100,000 each. The case is set for arraignment at 9 a.m. Tuesday.