Joseph Sindaco, 63, an attorney from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has been sentenced on a mail fraud charge in connection with his embezzlement of funds from clients’ trust account. U.S. District Judge James Cohn sentenced Sindaco to 48 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $3,879,896 in restitution to the victims. Sindaco had previously pled guilty in December 2010. As an attorney, he handled real estate closings for clients, mortgage lenders, and the administration of estates in state court.
According to the criminal information and statements made in court during the sentencing hearing, Sindaco practiced law from 1980 through August 2010 at his law firm in Fort Lauderdale. During that time, Sindaco misappropriated more than $3,879,896 of his clients funds. Sindaco was permanently disbarred by the Florida Supreme Court on August 26, 2010.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, announced the sentencing.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, FBI, and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. Mr. Ferrer also thanked The Florida Bar for their assistance in this investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey H. Kay and Larry Bardfeld.