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BOSTON � A law firm dispute over the division of profits has spawned an 11-count indictment against Boston attorney Philip Giordano for alleged larceny and making false entries into corporate books. A Suffolk County District Attorney statement said there’s evidence suggesting that Giordano allegedly stole at least $150,000 from his former firm Giordano, Champa, and Powers between January 2002 and September 2004. Also, it is alleged that Giordano paid himself thousands of dollars worth of compensation checks and used a debit card linked to the firm’s account to withdraw money and pay personal expenses. Giordano was indicted with four counts of larceny over $250, three counts of larceny over $250 by scheme, and four counts of making false entries into corporate books. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, No. SUCR2007-11306, (Suffolk Co., Mass., Super. Ct.). Giordano, a business attorney and civil litigator whose resume includes stints at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the frauds division of the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, and his two former partners never had a written agreement about how they would divide the profits, said his attorney Tom Maffei of Boston-based Griesinger, Tighe & Maffei. Maffei also said Giordano was the principal source of the firm’s business. “They should have done things a little more formally. They never did anything by the book,” Maffei said. The dispute about dividing the pie initially led to a state court fight. Champa & Powers v. Giordano, Esq., SUCV2005-01156 (Suffolk Co., Mass., Super. Ct.). Then Giordano’s former partner, James Champa, took his complaints to the district attorney’s office. Attorney ‘appalled’ Maffei said he was “appalled” that one of Giordano’s former partners accused him of a crime and that the district attorney went along with it without even calling Giordano. “This is a civil dispute over dividing up the pie, how it could end up in a criminal setting is beyond me,” Maffei said. The district attorney’s office declined to comment. Giordano’s partnership with Champa and Gina M. DeAcetis Powers dissolved in October 2004, spawning the civil court case and receivership of the partnership. Champa’s and Powers’ claims include breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, conversion, unjust enrichment and a demand for an accounting of the firm’s financial status. The lawyers also sought damages of at least $140,000. Giordano’s counterclaim also sought an accounting of the firm’s financial status. In April 2005, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion to attach real estate owned by Giordano and his wife worth $142,809. Giordano has since formed Boston-based Giordano & Co. His former partners are at Boston-based Champa & Powers. Champa said the trio’s agreement was unwritten but there was “no misunderstanding” that they were to divide the profits equally except for four cases that Champa and Giordano worked on without Powers. Champa also said he, not Giordano, generated most of the non-real estate business, which is Powers’ specialty. “We had a different arrangement [for those cases], other than that everything was supposed to be divided by thirds,” Champa said. Maffei said the defunct firms’ creditors have been paid and the more than $138,000 in escrow is more than enough to pay Giordano’s former partners what they claim they’re owed. But Champa said he and Powers are entitled to at least two-thirds of the escrow money “without a dispute” and the remainder isn’t enough to cover what Giordano took from them. Giordano’s arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 15 in Suffolk Superior Court.

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