Winter Park attorney accused of fraud sentenced to 10 years in prison

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A disbarred attorney and former certified public accountant who pleaded guilty to defrauding clients of millions of dollars was sentenced to 10 years of prison Tuesday.

Julie Kronhaus, whose practice was in Winter Park, had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and bank fraud in January.

As part of her plea agreement, Kronhaus admitted she used $2 million from trust accounts belonging to her clients, and used the money for her own personal use for things like traveling, clothing, dining and entertainment.

Some victims said they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars set aside for retirement their children’s medical care and said that her actions forced them to sell their homes.

The victims said they trusted Kronhaus with their money and business transactions for more than a decade until about three and a half years ago, when they realized she was stealing their money.

Prosecutors said she held money in trust accounts for her clients but stole about $2.8 million for a lavish lifestyle.

One victim told the judge Tuesday that she and her son have been without health insurance for three years while Kronhaus has continued to live inside the prestigious gated Alaqua Community.

Another lost his retirement savings.

"One point one million, which is 40 years of me working hard, saving and putting it in the hands of someone who was supposed to support my future. It’s gone,” said victim Alan Cook.

Kronhaus gave a short apology in court and asked for leniency, but the judge sentenced her to 10 years in prison and ordered her to pay back all the money.

She was allowed to walk out of the courtroom for a doctor’s appointment but must turn herself back in next week.

Some victims said they don’t expect to see any restitution.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.