|Julie Kronhaus, a former Longwood attorney, was disbarred|
Julie Kronhaus, 51, is accused of 11 counts of wire fraud and seven counts of bank fraud.
An Orlando federal grand jury indicted her on Wednesday.
The indictment, unsealed Friday, accuses her of wrongdoing dating back to 2009. She's charged with making eight illegal wire transfers totaling $526,000 between 2012 and 2014.
In addition, she's charged with defrauding Bank of America out of $425,000 in a separate series of transactions.
Clients, however, have filed lawsuits and complaints with the Florida Bar accusing her of misappropriating more than $2 million.
Kronhaus provided legal advice, did accounting, set up trust funds and managed them for several clients. It's those funds that she's accused of raiding.
|Disbarred attorney embezzled money from disabled girl, records allege|
"I'm glad it's finally happened," she said Friday when told of Kronhaus' arrest. "I've never seen where she's ever denied any wrongdoing."
Kronhaus had an office on Howell Branch Road near Winter Park and also was a certified public accountant. She was disbarred in 2014 and stripped of her CPA license by state regulators last year.
She did not return phone calls Friday evening.
Her arrest came as no surprise. Former clients have clamored for it for more than two years, when they first discovered checks she wrote to them began to bounce.
The first agency to take action against her was the Florida Bar. About that time, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office began an investigation, then turned it over to the FBI.
As the investigation dragged on, clients grew angry that she had not been charged with a crime.
They include the widow and son of a Casselberry man who was killed in an automobile crash, at least two Orlando-area aviation businesses and a Baltimore lawyer.
Kronhaus ran something similar to a Ponzi scheme, according to the indictment, sometimes transferring client money into the accounts of other clients in an attempt to cover up earlier wrongdoing.
She also made $120,000 in fraudulent wire transfers to American Express to pay for personal travel, clothes and entertainment, according to the indictment.
Former clients accused her of living a lavish lifestyle. She and her cardiologist husband, Ken Kronhaus, live in Alaqua, a gated community outside Longwood, in a 6,500-square foot home that has a heated swimming pool and backs up to a golf course.
Julie Kronhaus wore designer clothes, drove a Lexus, sent her daughter to Lake Highland Preparatory School and took the girl to out-of-state-beauty pageants and shows on Broadway, photos show.
The bank-fraud victim, according to the indictment, was Bank of America. Kronhaus carried out a check kiting scheme in 2014, leaving the bank holding $425,000 worth of bad checks.
She also diverted money from client accounts that were supposed to go to the Internal Revenue Service to pay their tax bills, the indictment alleges.
Kronhaus was booked into the Seminole County Jail about 1:45 p.m. Friday. After being transferred to federal custody, she was released on her own recognizance, according to Amy Filjones, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
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Disbarred Longwood attorney arrested on federal fraud charges