A Boston lawyer allegedly bilked friends, clients, and others out of nearly $250,000 in a series of schemes “fueled by drugs, gambling, and a penchant for the high life,” prosecutors said Tuesday.
Wassem M. Amin, 31, was ordered held on $1 million bail after being indicted on 26 charges, including fraud and larceny. His alleged victims included two young immigrants who had asked for his help starting companies, along with a former girlfriend he had hired.
Over time, the spoils of his deeds included a Mercedes-Benz S-class sedan and a Canal Street penthouse that cost close to $11,000 a month, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
But Amin was suspended from law practice this year and arrested over the summer. When he found out that one of his victims had lodged a complaint with the state Board of Bar Overseers and Boston Police, Amin sent a threatening text message, prosecutors said.
“I don’t give a [expletive] if your father is Obama,” Amin wrote, according to court documents. “You scumbag piece of [expletive] ... you’ve started a war.”
Prosecutors said that victim had paid Amin $12,400 as seed money for a consulting company that was supposed to help the man obtain an investor’s visa to stay in the country after attending Babson College.
A lawyer for Amin could not be reached for comment.
Last year, Amin started a law practice known as Amin Legal Group and convinced a friend from college and an ex-girlfriend to work with him, prosecutors said. He opened several credit cards in his colleagues’ names without their knowledge or consent, prosecutors said, and allegedly charged nearly $35,000 in expenses.
Amin also embezzled nearly $50,000 from a client of his law firm, prosecutors said.
The client was in the process of launching a business and wired funds to Amin, assuming he would transfer the money into an account for the new company, prosecutors said.
Instead, Amin transferred the funds to his corporate accounts and used most of the money to pay for a lease on the sedan, prosecutors said.
When the client demanded his money back, Amin wrote a check on an account that had been closed for two months, prosecutors said.
Amin also charged $9,000 to the credit card of another client, prosecutors said. The charges were not related to legal services.
Amin is also accused of providing fake information to lease the Canal Street penthouse and altering a paycheck from a former employer to steal over $22,000.