If there were a Ten Commandments for lawyers, we’re pretty sure “don’t steal your clients payments” would be one of them. And yet…

Once again a former firm partner has been arrested for diverting client money for his own use. Craig Haber, formerly of accounting firm Grant Thornton, was arrested Wednesday. He is accused of stealing nearly $4 million in client payments to the firm between 2004 and 2012 and putting the money in his own bank accounts.

According to the complaint, he regularly told clients to mail checks to his office, instead of sending them to Chicago headquarters, as was the norm. Haber would then deposit the money into an account that had a name similar to the firm’s, and move the money to his personal accounts from there.

“Fraud is always serious, but it is especially alarming when, as alleged here, it is committed by professionals who are supposed to be gatekeepers responsible for ensuring financial rectitude,” said Preet Bharara, Manhattan U.S. Attorney, in a statement.

Haber is being charged with one count of mail fraud, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 8.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


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