Lawyer Steals $250K from the State of Connecticut

Lawyer Steals $250K from the State of Connecticut

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Over a period of seven years Attorney Rubano lied to the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services about settlements he had obtained on behalf of his clients in personal injury cases. The State of Connecticut had welfare liens on numerous personal injury files handled by Rubano. Rubano was responsible for calculating the amount of the State lien and sending the State a check after he settled his cases. In most cases Rubano was required to send 50% of the net proceeds to the State of Connecticut. Rubano lied to the State of Connecticut in 129 cases and failed to pay the State a total of $250K. In each case Rubano prepared two separate settlement statements, a false one for the State and an accurate one for his client.

When Rubano’s employer found out that Rubano was scamming the State, in a random law firm audit, Rubano was shown the door and fired. Rubano reported his fraud to the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, rather than wait for his employer to rat him out. Rubano admitted that he committed at least 129 acts of misrepresentation and bilked the State out of $250K. Rubano’s employer, and his employer’s malpractice insurance company issued a check to the State of Connecticut to cover the losses.

Rubano was hauled into the Superior Court for his violation of the ethical rules of Connecticut lawyers. Rubano and the Chief Disciplinary Counsel reached the equivalent to a plea agreement. Rubano admitted his violation in exchange for the Disciplinary Counsel agreeing that it would not seek a suspension of his law license for more than a 2 year period. Rubano was represented by Attorney Robert Frost. Frost argued that Rubano has never been disciplined for an ethical violation in the past. Frost argued that Rubano was on the list of super lawyers in the glossy, and annoying “Super Lawyers” magazine. Frost submitted character letters from retired Connecticut Judges Antonio Robaina, Angela Robinson and Michael E. Riley. Frost also submitted character letters from the Faxon Law Group and Balzano & Tropiano.

Attorney Frost argued that Rubano did not profit from his transgression. The only ones who profited from Rubano’s fraud were the clients who got more money than they would have gotten had the liens been fully paid off. Rubano’s clients were more eager to settle when Rubano told them that they would get $4K in their pockets rather than $2K. Rubano only earned one third attorneys fees regardless of how much work he did on a file. If a client refused to settle Rubano would have to put considerable more time into the case. Rubano could end up spending many more years working on the case and possibly going to trial, the last thing a personal injury lawyer wants to do.

Rubano prepared two sets of settlement statements, a false one for the State and an accurate one for his clients. Rubano submitted 129 false settlement statements to the State of Connecticut over the course of 7 years and yet never got investigated, arrested or indicted. After 9 months Rubano’s law license was automatically reinstated.

Attorneys who break the law usually go to jail for a significant period of time, like myself. Judges tend to give stiffer sentences to attorneys than non-attorneys. Attorneys are supposed to uphold the law. Yet some lawyers were able to get lesser sentences. Former Chief Department of Justice US Attorney for the State of Connecticut Harold James Pickerstein stole $600k from his client and got a 30 day Federal prison sentence in Devens, MA. Pickerstein’s federal sentencing guidelines called for 3 years of incarceration.  Pickerstein raided his client’s bank account for two years.  He used the money to pay his back taxes and go on a shopping spree. Pickerstein was caught after his client put on a wire and recorded Pinkerstein admitting that he stole the money.  Pickerstein was sentenced to 30 days jail by Federal Judge Victor Bolden.  Pickerstein surrendered his law license and agreed never to seek to reapply to the bar ever again.

Pickerstein received 70 pages of character letters, mostly from prominent attorneys and former prosecutors. Pickerstein received one long hand written letter from Federal magistrate Judge Holly Fitzsimmons. Judge Fitzsimmons, who worked with Pickerstein as a Federal prosecutor, put her reputation on the line when she submitted a lengthy handwritten letter attesting to Attorney Pickerstein’s good character. Fitzsimmons violated the Judical Code of Ethics when she submitted her letter. I called her out on it. She wrote a long apology to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for her lapse in judicial ethics.

If you get in a car accident and you need a lawyer you can contact Attorney Rubano as his license was fully reinstated in October of 2020. After Rubano left Lynch Traub he opened a law firm with an attorney named R.J. Weber III. The firm is called Weber & Rubano. The law firm advertises on its website that it obtained a million dollar judgment against Walmart for a lady who was hit by a car in the Walmart parking lot.


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6 thoughts on “Lawyer Steals $250K from the State of Connecticut

  1. A widely held view is that all lawyers charge exuberant fees for their work and thus are very wealthy. It is this astounding to see such petty crimes committed by lawyers, like chasing a handful of closing fees through questionable means.

    This certainly changes my perception of lawyers’ wealth.

    1. I think many lawyers, along with mortgage brokers, realtors, and others, got caught up in the real estate feeding frenzy that went on just before the crash of 2008. Many people got extremely rich overnight.


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