Man charged with pretending to be a Harvard-educated attorney
On his professional website, David Koraca is pictured buttoning his suit jacket as he strides through stately courthouse columns, or staring thoughtfully into middle distance with Boston's Financial District at his back.
He lists law offices in Boston, London, and New York; clients in Hollywood; and services in finance, crisis management, and corporate law. He promised his clients — whom he met while taking classes at Harvard University — "top-notch" representation, and allegedly collected thousands of dollars in payments and credit card charges.
But Koraca was no Harvard-educated lawyer, as he'd claimed. He was a convicted criminal who orchestrated an elaborate scheme, complete with rented office space at One International Place in Boston and a fake name. And he bilked at least two women out of more than $20,000, according to Boston police.
Koraca, 47, was arrested Monday in his downtown office, where he went by "David Corazza, Esq." On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty in Boston Municipal Court to two charges each of larceny by scheme over $250 and unauthorized practice of law and was ordered held on $10,000 bail.
His attorney did not respond to a request for comment. A secretary who answered the phone at Koraca's Boston office Tuesday said her boss was unavailable. She declined to comment on his arrest. The phone numbers listed for his New York and London offices were not in service.
According to court documents, Koraca has a record of convictions in four states for burglary, false imprisonment, grand theft, credit fraud, and operating under the influence. He has been imprisoned several times, the documents say.
He met both of the women he is charged with duping while taking classes at Harvard, which he claimed to be doing "for fun," according to the documents.
He met one of the women in a class in February 2015, according to the documents, and offered her legal help for her financial problems. In July, she allowed him to copy her credit card information and Social Security number at his Boston office, and she signed a power of attorney form. In October, however, she noticed unauthorized charges on her credit cards for $1,004.22, most for Amazon purchases, according to the documents.
Koraca claimed the charges were for his service, according to the documents.
He met the other woman in a class in 2014, but she did not hire him as her attorney until she filed for divorce in September 2015, according to the documents.
Koraca claimed to have over 20 years of experience, according to the documents, and he and his victim planned to become business partners and create the firm "Corazza Global." The woman wired him at least $6,690 in retainer fees, according to the documents. He then allegedly stole about $20,000 from her in various credit card buys, according to the documents. She reported him to police on Nov. 9.
When police searched Koraca's office, they discovered fake law degrees hanging on his walls, said Boston police spokesman Lieutenant Detective Michael McCarthy.
"We anticipate additional charges will be forthcoming as the investigation uncovers more victims and instances of fraud," said McCarthy.
Koraca's website claims that he is "a Harvard educated attorney that focuses on corporate, financial and entertainment law with a solid background of accomplishments in finance, corporation structure, and dispute resolution."
It lists a past work history consulting with clients including HBO, Def Jam, Universal, Playboy, and Showtime, and says he worked on shows including "The Sopranos", "Entourage", and "Oz".
Other websites that appear to tout the "David Corazza" persona list him as a high-ranking entertainment executive, a producer of commercials and music videos, the vice president or vice president in charge of finance of several companies including "Universal Jet Charter," and a US Army captain who served in Iraq.
One site claims he served in the military from 2007 to 2009, and was involved in "tactical recon, special forces, black ops." It claims he won a Silver Star for his "actions above and beyond the call of duty." An official with knowledge of the investigation, however, said Koraca was incarcerated at that time.