Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 | 1:49 p.m.
A suspended Las Vegas attorney was arraigned today on charges accusing him of stealing more than $1 million from clients.
Barry Levinson is accused of robbing his clients of personal-injury lawsuit settlements from January 2007 to July 2012.
The multiple felony theft counts stem from a Metro Police investigation that began in July 2013 after the Nevada State Bar provided detectives with complaints from more than 100 of Levinson’s clients.
“In most cases clients never received any of the settlement money,” Metro Detective Robert Whiteley wrote in a police report. “Levinson used deceitful tactics such as not informing a client of a settlement or forging signatures of clients on settlement forms and check endorsements.”
Whiteley compared Levinson’s actions to a Ponzi scheme, because the attorney would use money from current clients to pay partial settlements to previous clients.
During the hearing this morning in Las Vegas Township Justice Court, Levinson waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The action led Judge Conrad Hafen to bind over the case to Clark County District Court, where a hearing is set for Jan. 28.
The Nevada Supreme Court suspended Levinson’s license in September 2012.
Levinson is also charged in separate federal criminal case related to a multimillion-dollar conspiracy involving a dozen homeowners associations in the Las Vegas Valley. In that case he is charged with conspiracy and mail fraud.