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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32549
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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2 yrs. ago a contractor stole $300K from several subcontractors/homeowner.

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2 yrs. ago a contractor stole $300K from several subcontractors/homeowner. At my attorney's suggestion I contacted local & state police & prosecutors office. No luck. Through the civil court system documents were found that were forged (ie. lien waivers, etc) that info was passed on to the prosecutor; end result contractor found guilty of builder's fraud; will be sentenced at the end of this month. I'm now a victim according to the prosecutor's office and am eligible to receive restitution for monies illegally taken. My question is: is the money I spent on attorney fees during the civil process (from which the forged documents were exposed and sent on to the prosecutor) also eligible for restitution? This is in excess of $22K

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

What was the end result of the civil case?

Dwayne B. :

Did you receive a judgment?

Dwayne B. :

Also. did the judge make a finding on the restitution amount?

Dwayne B. :

In the criminal case.

Customer:

I included both the homeowner and contractor in the civil case; the contractor never showed and the homeowner, through mediation, paid out approx 60% of monies owed. There is a judgment against the contractor for the remaining $$.

Customer:

As for the criminal case: he plead guilty of contractor fraud. After my victim's statement at sentencing the judge postponed sentencing until 9/30. The prosecutor indicated that he didn't think the attorney fees incurred during the civil suit would be part of the restitution.

Dwayne B. :

I agree that they are not recoverable as restitution and particularly if the lawsuit included more parties than the contractor who is pleading guilty. The attorney's fees should have been awarded in the civil judgment. Occasionally you can get a judge to award attorney's fees as restitution but I think that could cause a reversal on appeal and especially if there was more than one party being considered in the civil case.

Customer:

I appreciate your insight. Since I get to give another victim's statement on 9/30, I will express my thoughts on this matter

Dwayne B. :

You can certainly ask for them and mention that the attorney's fees were necessary to find the evidence that allowed the criminal conviction.

Dwayne B. :

Did you have any additional questions?

Customer:

No, that was it. Thanks again

Dwayne B. :

Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work.

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