Misappropriation of funds: The profession’s dirty little secret

On an unusually warm and foggy Saturday evening this past December the $1.7-million home of Dany Perras was set ablaze, the third time in the space of a year an act of vandalism targeted the former Montreal lawyer. Perras, who resigned abruptly from the roll in October 2011, is under investigation by the Quebec Bar for allegedly orchestrated a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme through his lawyers’ trust account. It’s been more than 16 months since the scandal that shook the Montreal legal community erupted, and the fallout is still being felt. Successfully petitioned into bankruptcy, Perras is the subject of an ongoing criminal probe and a host of legal proceedings – many of which are under court seal — launched by more than a dozen creditors seeking an amount surpassing $6 million.

The Perras case is unique, and yet at the same time it is not.

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This story originally appeared in the Canadian Lawyer magazine.

6 Replies to “Misappropriation of funds: The profession’s dirty little secret”

  1. And when you state- ‘this fraud is more prevalent in small law firms’ you overlook the obvious- the larger firms indemnify the victims – preventing the theft from showing up as a statistic.

  2. This is only the tip of the iceberg. How about the conflict of interest rules that are being violated every day- the legal ethics that don’t exist? Nothing is being done about these abuses that have gone on for years.I disagree that these problems are prevalent in small firms. Unfortunately the Provincial Bars are hesitant to attack the large law firms, for the usual reasons and thus these problems are often covered up as stated in the article.The small to medium sized firms are often brought to justice for minor offences that makes it look as though these problems are more prevalent there.

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