The Real Deal Miami

Real estate lawyer charged with defrauding settlement funds

January 13, 2009 03:50PM

South Florida real estate attorney Deborah Rice is accused of helping to defraud three class-action settlement funds out of more than $40 million by filing claims in the names of imaginary companies. Rice’s practice is in Boca Raton, and the charges are pending in Philadelphia federal court. Rice collected the proceeds from her claims and distributed them to others involved in the fraud, and she received at least $150,000 herself. She pleaded not guilty in November to charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.