Sunday, October 2, 2016

Disbarred Longwood attorney arrested on federal fraud charges

Julie Kronhaus, a former Longwood attorney, was disbarred
A Longwood attorney accused of draining hundreds of thousands of dollars from the trust accounts and businesses of her clients was arrested Friday on federal charges.

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
One of those was Brittany Jones, who gave birth 10 years ago to a baby girl who suffered severe brain damage while in a Lake County hospital. Kronhaus was in charge of the child's trust account when $180,000 disappeared, Jones alleged in a complaint with the Florida Bar.

"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.

Full Article & Source:
Disbarred Longwood attorney arrested on federal fraud charges


Sheron said...

I am happy to see the Feds getting involved and hope she gets a nice, long sentence.

Teresa said...

I wish the Feds would investigate the guardian system in Washington State. My mother's guardian said my mother owed the IRS over $25,000.00 when she took over her life. IRS can't show us that they received this money. Then the guardian sold my mother's home and never had to show where the money was. Judge didn't care. Then the judge made some of my moms children pay a $70,000.00 plus bogus forensic accounting company. This guardian also took three large cashier checks out of my mother's account. There is much much more. Please investigate more cases like this.

Finny said...

Stealing from the disadvantage is the lowest of the low.

Beanie said...

Greed has no measure.