BOSTON (CBS) — A suspended Boston attorney accused of stealing from clients and setting up fraudulent credit card accounts among other charges was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court Tuesday morning.
A magistrate ordered 31-year-old Wassem Amin held on $1 million bail, and ordered him to stay away from victims and to wear a GPS bracelet.
Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley’s office says Amin faces a total of 26 charges, including embezzling nearly $50,000 from a client who believed Amin was depositing the funds into an account set up for the client’s new company. Amin allegedly used some of those funds to lease a Mercedes sedan.
“The defendant directed that client to wire money into the defendant’s own corporate account. He then promised to turn it over to the client, so the client could get moving with his business. What the defendant did when the money came in was transfer it through two of his own corporate accounts and then he withdrew the money in cash. He got a bank check and he used that bank check to pre-pay a two-year lease on a Mercedes S-class sedan,” Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Michele Granda said in court.
The district attorney also says Amin opened several lines of credit in the names of a college acquaintance and an intern at his law firm without their knowledge or consent, and racked up nearly $35,000 of expenses with the fraudulent accounts.
Prosecutors add that Amin leased a Canal Street penthouse, worth nearly $11,000 per month, by providing false information.
Amin is an Egyptian national who has been living in the country illegally after overstaying his student visa.
These allegations date back to 2011, when Amin allegedly forged a friend’s name on a letter to co-sign for a student loan which prosecutors say sparked an elaborate scheme of fraud to maintain a life of drugs, gambling and a lavish lifestyle.
But in court Tuesday, the attorney, suspended earlier this year, said he is not guilty. He is accused of stealing a total of $247,000 from clients, friends and colleagues, even a legal intern who ultimately became his girlfriend.
Prosecutors claim Amin wrote bad checks on accounts he knew were closed, that he allegedly had credit cards opened in victims’ names while they were under the impression the credit cards were under his firm’s name
Amin, who was indicted by a grand jury last month, is also facing charges of money laundering, larceny and witness intimidation. He is due back in court on January 12.