Attorney accused of stealing millions from California client
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An attorney has been accused of stealing most of a multimillion-dollar settlement he reached for the victim of a California car accident.
Philip Layfield was indicted Friday for mail fraud and money laundering. He’s expected to be extradited to Los Angeles. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer.
Layfield was arrested last week in New Jersey after returning to the U.S. from his new home in Costa Rica.
Layfield, whose firm had offices in Southern California, negotiated a $3.9 million settlement two years ago for a man who’d been struck by a car in Orange County.
Federal prosecutors contend that Layfield took about $2 million for himself and the client got only $25,000.
If he’s convicted, Layfield could face up to 60 years in prison.