Ucreview – A Cincinnati attorney, who was previously a congressional candidate, has been arrested again. The attorney was disbarred and convicted of stealing money from clients.
On Thursday morning, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio reported that Richard Crosby III was apprehended by federal agents in Mason.
Newly released federal court documents show that Crosby allegedly used a fake identity to secure employment at three separate law firms while he was under indictment in Hamilton County for embezzlement from clients.
The authorities have leveled additional charges against Crosby, 36, which include wire fraud, Social Security number fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
His initial appearance in the federal case is set for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday at the federal court located in downtown Cincinnati.
In 2017, Crosby threw his hat in the ring as a Democrat for the U.S. House election, vying to represent Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District.
In May 2018, he withdrew from the primary, and the seat is still held by Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Columbia Tusculum.
State and federal court filings reveal that Crosby has been getting into trouble with the law for several years now.
In November 2020, the Cincinnati Bar Association filed a complaint against him. He has expressed his intention to resign from the practice of law in 2021.
In Hamilton County, later that year, Crosby faced two indictments for stealing client funds. The charges against him included two counts of theft and two counts of unauthorized use of property.
According to his indictment, he is being charged for an amount ranging from $7,500 to less than $150,000 between February 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019.
According to records at the Ohio Supreme Court, while he was working at the Strauss Troy law firm in downtown Cincinnati, he provided estate planning services to a woman from Indiana and other clients.
Last year, a Mt. Airy beauty business sued the client and his law firm, Crosby and Post LLC, of Norwood and Columbus, in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
According to court records, on June 6th, she was awarded a judgment of $90,600 against him.
According to the woman’s legal claim, she hired Crosby to create a fresh Ohio corporation that would serve as a holding company for her beauty enterprise.
According to the lawsuits, he explained to her the tax benefits of setting up a holding company and as a result, she wrote a check for $45,200 from her business account payable to his law firm on October 28, 2019.
According to the lawsuit, Crosby offered to set up a bank account under a new company’s name and deposit the check into it. The funds would have been held in trust for the woman and her company. However, she later became uneasy with Crosby’s handling of her money and asked for it to be returned.
She sent him a text message on November 8, 2019, asking why he had cashed the $45,200 check.
According to the lawsuit, he replied by saying, “That was always our plan and what we had discussed. I deposited the amount into the firm’s IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts), and that’s why it was made out to Crosby and Post. I’ll provide you with a detailed explanation in person. Rest assured, the entire amount will be returned to you as a part of your fund for the new company.”
On November 12, 2019, Crosby and his law firm sent a wire transfer of $15,000 to the woman’s business.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants have refused to return the remaining $30,200.
In court records, Crosby refuted the allegations made against him and filed counterclaims. However, the judge dismissed these counterclaims.
According to state records, the Cincinnati Bar Association received grievances involving both women.
The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office received reports of the allegations.
According to a statement made by Strauss Troy to FOX19 NOW in 2021, Crosby was no longer with the law firm as of September 2019 and was officially “separated” from them at that time.
In June 2021, Strauss Troy released a statement indicating their collaboration with the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office and state and local bar associations regarding the matter at hand. The law firm emphasized their commitment to ensuring that justice is served and expressed their eagerness for a swift resolution of the judicial process.
Following his indictments in Hamilton County, Crosby was disbarred by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.
According to his plea entry, Crosby was convicted of two counts of felony theft on May 26 of this year, and had been arrested prior to that.
Two other charges were dropped.
Judge Christian Jenkins of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court has sentenced him to a five-year probationary period.
According to court records, he has been directed to reimburse his previous law firm with $49,236.72 and pay $30,000 to the Ohio Supreme Court Lawyer Fund for client protection via his attorney’s trust account, which will be held through appeal. The restitution to his victims will be paid from this amount if his conviction is upheld.
Crosby’s lawyer has filed an appeal notice on his behalf.
According to the sentence copy, if he breaches his probation, the court will impose an 18-month prison term.
According to federal court records, “richardcwilliamsesq” email account was created by the defendant while the criminal case was still pending.
In June 2021, Crosby allegedly utilized an email address and the pseudonym Richard Williams to correspond with a law firm located in Washington D.C. that had briefly hired “Williams.”
During September of 2022, Crosby utilized his alias to submit an application for an attorney position at a law firm located in Miami, Florida. It’s worth noting that he had already been disbarred in Ohio and apprehended on charges in Hamilton County.
During the Zoom meeting with a recruiter, he presented himself as Richard Williams, a licensed attorney who has been admitted to the bar in New York and D.C.
According to federal officials, after meeting with one of the hiring managers in Florida, Crosby was offered employment in October 2022 by the firm.
He was offered a starting salary of $185,000 per year along with a $5,000 signing bonus.
According to federal court records, Crosby stands accused of utilizing someone else’s Social Security number, passport number, and banking information to complete his onboarding paperwork at the law firm.
The Clermont County Child Support Enforcement Office investigator reached out to the firm in April, notifying them of Crosby’s actual identity.
He lost his job.
According to federal officials, Crosby made another effort to secure employment using the same alias in July.
According to the federal government, during his Zoom interview with the senior management of a Coral Gables, Florida-based law firm, he allegedly attached a doctored screenshot of the name Richard Coleman Williams Jr. from the online D.C. bar membership directory to his resume.
Crosby was offered a starting salary of $195,000 per year and a $10,000 signing bonus by the firm. However, it was later discovered that Crosby had provided false identity information, and as a result, the firm decided not to hire him.
According to state records, Crosby attempted to deceive at least one other law firm in 2021 by misrepresenting himself in an effort to secure employment.
Gregory Harrison, a member of the grievance committee at the Cincinnati Bar Association, was contacted by the CEO of a Colorado-based company in March of that year, as reported by Dinsmore & Shohl attorney.
According to Darren Lampert, he was handed Crosby’s resume by a Colorado employment agency as Crosby was looking for a position as General Counsel.
Upon conducting a quick Google background search, the author stumbled upon some alarming accusations of fraud against the individual in question. He firmly believed that if these allegations were indeed true, it could lead to the individual’s suspension or disbarment. As a member of the bar, he felt it was his duty to share this information and, therefore, forwarded Mr. Crosby’s resume, which failed to include his work history at Strauss, Troy Esqs, along with the cover letter from the employment agency. The author declined the interview and has never had any further communication with Mr. Crosby.
According to state records, the Ohio State Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct had their proceedings halted in April 2021. This was due to Crosby’s application to retire or resign from the practice of law.
In Hamilton County Commons Pleas Court, another client, a woman from Columbus, filed a lawsuit for legal malpractice against Crosby. This occurred in the same month as the other two cases.
In an attempt to recoup the financial losses she incurred due to hiring him for a legal dispute in Franklin County Common Pleas Court, she is seeking a minimum of $100,000. The dispute was with a construction company that she had enlisted for work on her home.
In January, a limited company filed a lawsuit against Crosby claiming that he violated a residential lease agreement. The court records show that the company is seeking a judgment of $2,515.77 against him.
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