ORLANDO, Fla. — An investigation into a disbarred Orlando attorney provides new details on where his client’s money went.
Jonathan Simon, 35, had his license to practice law revoked in December after investigators for the Florida Bar found he had used "client trust funds for purposes other than for the specific purpose they were intended," according to disciplinary documents.
"Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment," the Florida Supreme Court order states.
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In June and July of last year, Simon’s firm of 21 family law attorneys began falling apart after his colleagues uncovered serious discrepancies in a trust account that was supposed to be carefully monitored.
By October, Simon was giving sworn testimony to a Florida Bar investigator and his clients could not get in touch with him.
“I feel helpless and kind of angry. I have to start all over,” said William Read, one of Simon’s former clients.
Read said he gave Simon nearly $5,000 to represent him, but he hasn’t seen that money again.
“It kind of wrecks your faith in the legal system. This guy came highly recommended,” he said.
During the bar investigation, records show Simon said he discovered $68,000 missing from an account that was only to be used for specific clients’ cases.
Read believes his money was part of the missing $68,000.
Simon said he took out a loan to pay clients back, but Read said he was never paid back.
“Basically, I had to hire another attorney, start all over again,” he said.
Simon told the investigator that at one point, he took $144,000 of clients’ money to keep his practice afloat.
Simon’s license to practice law was revoked within six months of the time his clients’ money was discovered missing.
Cox Media Group