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DLA Piper partner accused of falsifying £75,000 of expenses claims
28 June 2013
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A DLA Piper partner has been charged with falsifying expenses claims totalling more than $119,000 (£75k).

Before Lee Smolen joined DLA's Chicago office last year he was a partner at Sidley Austin, where he headed up the firm's real estate practice and sat on its executive committee. But he resigned suddenly last September in mysterious circumstances. Now there is a possible explanation.

The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which prosecutes lawyers for misconduct, has filed a complaint alleging that between 2007 and 2012 Smolen submitted over 800 fake taxi receipts for journeys "he knew he had not taken" and, instead of entertaining clients, submitted bogus receipts and pocketed the budget. The IARDC says Smolen falsely claimed:

  • $69,000 (£45k) on taxis
  • $35,000 (£22.8k) on sports tickets
  • $13,000 (£8.5k) on restaurant gift cards
  • $2,000 (£1.3k) on dining out
It's not on the scale of the UK's CPS manager who was charged with falsely claiming a million quid for taxis. But it's not bad going.

  Smolen entertaining clients: how prosecutors allege it looked
Sharing a cab
At the big game
Opening a gift card
Ordering steak

DLA, sticking up admirably for the concept of turning a blind eye if the accused brings in a lot of work innocent until proven guilty, admits it knew about the allegations before it hired Smolen. In a statement the firm said it "decided to give great weight to the total body of Lee's work over his 25-plus years as a lawyer and to extend to him the opportunity to continue his career at DLA Piper."

The firm also said Smolen had "learned from his experience" and "taken all the necessary steps to move forward as a productive member of our team." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of his innocence...



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anonymous user
28/06/2013 09:31
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Perhaps he's a greedy b@st@rd
anonymous user
28/06/2013 12:05
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Smolen Stolen....