Longtime in-house senior patent lawyer, Jason Throne, recently admitted to defrauding Hunter Douglas in an elaborate 14-year embezzlement scheme in which he bilked the company out of over $5 million, according to The Denver Post.
An earlier Denver Post article, titled Lawsuit: Patent lawyer’s bogus bills swindled $5M from Hunter Douglas, detailed the scheme, in which Mr. Throne submitted and approved fake bills for non-existent patent searches, initially on behalf of Patent Services Group, a shell company his wife incorporated in 1999 and dissolved in 2002.
But that didn’t stop Jason Throne from continuing to submit bills, masking the family’s ownership by way of a bogus fax number in Colorado, the lawsuit alleges.
Mr. Thorne would approve payment of the billings bypassing the company’s computerized auditing system. Hunter Douglas’ lawsuit alleges that since 2000, Mr. Thorne had embezzled about $40,000 a month, until a Hunter Douglas employee finally questioned the billings.
While LPR believes that incidents such as these, involving longtime high-ranking employees, are rare, they do happen. Corporate brass should heed this cautionary tale.
Part of LPR’s mission is to help companies root out corporate attorney’s misdeeds and/or unethical behavior. You’ve got options. The Center for Legal Practice Reform can help you navigate the attorney/client relationship and level the playing field. Call LPR today for a free consultation – (301) 351-7970.