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Folklaw: 9 March 2007

Folklaw: 9 March 2007

Thief reveals himself in eBay saleA British man with more hot air between the ears than in his stolen balloon was caught after posting the item on eBay.The balloon was taken from a farm in…

Thief reveals himself in eBay sale

A British man with more hot air between the ears than in his stolen balloon was caught after posting the item on eBay.

The balloon was taken from a farm in Tilford, police said, along with the basket, fuel and burner. The total value of the items was estimated to be £5,000 ($12,361).

Initial police inquiries had come to nought until they received a phone call from the owner. While surfing the ‘hot air balloon’ section on eBay, he had come across his recently missing vehicle, complete with contact phone number.

It was then a simple matter for police to track down the 31-year-old man from Headley Down and secure his arrest.

Peep shows make for good theatre

Male lawyers who may be caught exiting from a strip club can now rely on the excuse that they are cultured supporters of legitimate theatre.

A judge in Holland has decreed that peep shows are a form of theatre, which opens club owners up to a significant tax break.

“Admitting customers to peep shows is equivalent to admitting them to a theatre performance,” an Amsterdam Appeals Court judge wrote in the ruling. “The erotic character of the performance does not diminish that.”

Associate files super-secret document

An associate working at UK firm Orrick was horrified to learn that he had publicly filed an incredibly confidential document at the centre of a major legal dispute.

As RollOnFriday reported, the associate had four years of experience under his belt when the slip up occurred.

The document was a crucial piece of evidence relating to alleged backdating of share options by US executives. In it, emails were quoted that allegedly showed some of the executives in question talking about backdating their options, the website said.

For months before the accident, Orrick had been holding off demands by Bloomberg and the San Francisco Chronicle to publish the document. According to RollOnFriday, it was eventually agreed by the claimants that the document could remain confidential, after five-month long negotiations came to a head.

All was well at Orrick until the associate took the document to court and had it publicly filed, the website said. When a reporter stumbled across it, the sensitive information was published on The Wall Street Journal’s website, from which point it raced across the globe.

The website said that Orrick partner, James Kramer, said the associate had intended, and believed, that the exhibit had been filed under seal. It was eventually resealed, but the damage had been done.

US lawyer jailed for mega-fraud

The US man who put the Bellettieri in Bellettieri & Fonte has been sentenced to 10 years’ jail for thieving more than US$20 ($25.4) million from clients, the chief victim being JPMorgan Chase.

The real estate lawyer attracted the attention of the FBI when it was discovered he had been drawing money from the firm’s escrow account and covering the losses from a separate account.

“It’s a terrible thing to see a man destroyed and humbled by his own actions and lose control of his life,” defence lawyer Murray Richman told The Journal News.

Indeed it is. It’s also a terrible thing to commit serious fraud.

Bellettieri began the scam in 2003, and managed to keep it going for two years before being caught. During that time, he bought himself a condo, spent a fortune on a luxurious wedding, as well as handsomely rewarding his employees.

As if that wasn’t enough, the lawyer also conned approximately US$2 ($2.5) million from a client through a fake mortgage scheme.

Bellettieri was released on a hefty bond, and awaits sentencing on May 18. In pleading guilty, he has agreed to return US$22 ($28) million and forfeit properties he acquired, along with the jail term.

Prize not appreciated by DLA

The following gem, also from UK website RollOnFriday, bobbed up from the depths of firm DLA Leed’s email system last week.

Subject: The Ladies’ Toilet


Somebody left a rather large ‘prize’ in the first ladies toilet today which has caused major embarrassment to the cleaner who should not be expected to deal with this kind of mess.

Please leave the toilets how you would like to find them.

Other ladies should not be subjected to your ablutions!

This is totally unnecessary. Please be more considerate of others!

This message is not intended to offend anybody but I need to ensure the message gets across.

Kind regards

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Folklaw: 9 March 2007
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