September 21, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

blank checkA former partner of Morrison & Foerster (MoFo), a prestigious law firm based in San Francisco, and his wife pleaded “not guilty” to felony charges in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud the San Francisco Unified School District, the firm and its health insurance provider out of nearly $400,000 in fraudulent services for their autistic son.

Jonathan Dickstein and his wife Barclay Lynn, both 43-years-old, have been charged with 31 felony counts including grand theft, forgery, insurance fraud, and conspiracy. The prosecution alleges that between 2006 and 2008, the couple set up a fraudulent education company called “Puzzle Pieces” that they used to double-bill the school district and Morrison & Foerster’s then health insurance provider Blue Cross for their son’s in-home autism care. By billing both entities for the same services, the prosecution alleged that the scheme allowed the couple to pocket approximately $100,000 per year.

Dickstein had been a prominent life science attorney for Morrsion & Foerster since he joined the firm in 1999. He resigned from the firm roughly five months ago. Both Dickstein and Lynn are now out on bail after posting $100,000 each. The case is scheduled to return to court in early October.

What Punishment Does He Face?

In California, a grand theft crime is a serious offense that is defined as the unlawful taking of money, labor, or property of another that is valued above $950. (California Penal Code Section 487). The penalties for a felony grand theft conviction include imprisonment for a period of 16 months, or two or three years in state prison.

Forgery is a “white collar” theft crime in California that involves falsely altering documents, signing another person’s name without authorization, or fabricating documents with the intent to defraud another out of money, property, or legal rights. (California Penal Code Section 470). If charged as a felony, a conviction for forgery may include a prison sentence for a period between 16 months and three years in state prison.

Accused of a Crime? Call Wallin & Klarich Today

If you or someone you know is facing charges of grand theft or forgery, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Southern California criminal defense attorney. With over 30 years of experience, our Southern California attorneys at Wallin & Klarich can help you present the best possible defense in your case. We have successfully defended thousands of clients facing forgery and theft charges. Let our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys help you today.

With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.

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