SAN DIEGO (CN) - American Lawyers Funding claims in court that its accountant embezzled $3.5 million for himself, slipped another $1.8 million to a friend and $1.25 million to its former CEO - and it wants the money back.
American Lawyers Funding sued its former CEO Roy Cammerano; its accountant and "de facto treasurer" Doug Jordan, CPA, and Jordan's business, DWJ Management Services; and Jordan's alleged "close friend and associate," John Avrea, in Superior Court.
According to American Lawyers Funding's website, the company "provides cash to qualified contingency fee law firms. ALF has made available millions of dollars in contingency cases over the past several years."
ALF's home page continues: "Funding decisions are managed by ALF executives who are all licensed attorneys and experienced litigators. ALF has both short and long term funding programs available. Funding overhead is also available. ...
"The contracts are generally non-recourse. If a case is lost, the law firm owes ALF nothing."
ALF says in its complaint that Cammerano was a managing member and CEO until he resigned "sometime in the year 2011."
Cammerano was a managing member along with Todd Macaluso, who owns a majority interest in ALF, the complaint states. Macaluso, however, is not named as an individual party.
ALF says it discovered in December 2011 "that its cash assets had been dissipated or otherwise improperly diverted to unknown persons ... while in the possession, custody or control of defendant Jordan."
It claims that "Jordan made improper and secret payments to defendant Cammerano in the approximate sum of $1,250,000 without disclosing the receipt of the same to Macaluso, a managing member of plaintiff."
ALF claims Cammerano took the payments "with knowledge they were improper and/or unlawful."
It claims that "Jordan made improper and secret payments to defendant Avrea, Jordan's close friend and associate, in the approximate sum of $1,800,000 without disclosing the receipt of the same to Macaluso, a managing member of plaintiff."
And it claims "that defendant Jordan misappropriated, converted, or embezzled approximately $3,500,000 in cash assets from plaintiff for his own use and benefit."
ALF claims the defendants have $6,550,000 that belongs to it, and it wants them back. It also demands an accounting and damages for misappropriation and unjust enrichment from all the defendants, and conversion, from Jordan.ALF is represented by Richard Van Dyke, of La Jolla.
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