Houston Personal Injury lawyer indicted in $2.4m fraud

Houston attorney, Clyde Moore, known in his advertisements as ‘Car Wreck Clyde’, has been indicted for defrauding injured clients of settlement funds. His office manager, Mark Broussard, was also indicted. The estimated amount of the fraud was $2.4 million.



Moore is a personal injury lawyer. He and Broussard obtained cases by making cash payments to tow truck drivers, repair shop employees and others who would refer car-wreck cases to the firm. According to 2020 civil lawsuit filed by a client, the going rate was $1,000 for a ‘normal’ car accident and $1,500 for a commercial accident.

The scheme ran from 2012 to 2021 and was simple in nature. Moore’s injured clients would obtain medical treatment under a Letter or Protection from Moore’s firm through which Moore agreed to pay the bills of the medical providers. Moore would send these bills to insurers with demands for settlement. However, Moore had agreed lower reduced fees with certain medical providers. His firm would pocket the difference, rather than pass it onto the clients.

Moore, Broussard and three unnamed employees kept detailed ledgers of the amounts being skimmed. Moore would pay the three employees bonuses, based on their share of the skimmed proceeds. The civil lawsuit alleged the bonus paid to the employees was 3% of the amount skimmed.

Dispute between the parties

Interestingly, the case appears to have arisen from a dispute between Moore and Broussard. They were old friends, and Moore hired Broussard in 2012. They formed a partnership where Broussard was to be paid 50% of the net revenues on cases where he did the majority of the pre-litigation work, and 3% of revenues on all other cases.

The partnership broke down in 2017 over a dispute over what Broussard was allegedly owed. Broussard filed a lawsuit that resulted in a mediated settlement agreement that would pay Broussard $660,404. He alleges that Moore made only two payments and then defaulted on the promissory note. Broussard filed a new suit in 2022 to enforce the agreement.

Possible penalties

For conspiracy to commit mail fraud, Moore and Broussard face up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Moore is also charged with an additional count of mail fraud which carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years and a possible $250,000 fine.

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/houston-personal-injury-attorney-and-employee-indicted-defrauding-injured-clients-0

 

 

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