Gambling and casinos have caused a lot of problems in Arizona and every other state where they are legal. Many have succumbed to gambling addiction, stolen from their employers and broken up their families and marriages. The sad story that follows isn’t the first in Arizona and it won’t be the last — not as long as we have legalized gambling. Some say, “oh but the money builds roads and schools.” The bottom line? It’s ill-gotten gain off the backs of shattered lives and broken families. This is a dark day for a culture in decline.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the sentencing of Larry Dahl, a former Phoenix attorney. Dahl was sentenced to 3.25 years in prison and seven years supervised probation after defrauding his former clients of $2,940,439.
“The defendant stole millions of dollars from his clients to fuel a gambling addiction,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “Dahl was in a position of trust and he abused that trust. The Attorney General’s Office takes these cases very seriously.”
In addition to his prison sentence, the Honorable Jay Adleman ordered Dahl to pay $2,940,439 to the former clients he defrauded. In 2013, Dahl was indicted on 20 felony counts accused of embezzling money from client funds for nearly 5 years, from January 2001 to January 2005. Over that time period, Dahl gambled the $2,940,439 he had stolen at various casinos and lost the entire sum.
Dahl embezzled client funds directly from their interest-bearing money market accounts by writing checks payable to himself. To perpetuate this scheme, Dahl frequently transferred money between 46 client money market accounts to create the illusion of accurate individual account balances.
On June 25, 2015, Dahl pled guilty to three felony offenses: Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, Money Laundering and Theft.
Mr. Dahl was disbarred in 2006.
Assistant Attorney General Brett Harames prosecuted this case.