PHOENIX, AZ (June 13, 2012) – Victims of fraudulent divorce attorney Gary Jay Karpin will soon receive court ordered restitution payments for the economic losses they suffered as a result of his crimes. Karpin was found guilty in October 2008 on twenty-four counts of theft for accepting fees and failing to perform promised legal services. He was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and subsequently ordered to pay nearly $240,000 in restitution to twenty-five victims.
Despite Karpin’s efforts to avoid paying restitution by transferring his assets to others, the Asset Recovery Bureau of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office was able to identify and seize assets belonging to Karpin totaling just over $197,000. Pursuant to a court order issued last month, the State is now contacting victims to disburse these funds.
“We look forward to returning these funds to the victims who were so egregiously taken advantage of by this defendant,” remarked Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This case underscores the determination of my office to spare no effort in ensuring that criminals pay victims the restitution to which they are entitled,” he added.
After being disbarred in Vermont, Gary Jay Karpin relocated to the Phoenix area in 1996 and presented himself as an attorney specializing in divorce, despite not being licensed to practice law in Arizona. He attracted clients with ads promising “divorce with dignity” at affordable rates. Over a nine-year period, Karpin is believed to have victimized more than 300 people by charging sometimes exorbitant fees for legal services that were poorly, and frequently never, performed.
More than forty victims were named in an October 2006 indictment against Karpin that alleged twenty-six counts of felony theft. He was convicted on twenty-four counts and sentenced to multiple concurrent and consecutive prison terms for a total 15.75 years, not including credit for time served. He will be placed on supervised probation for five years following his release.
The twenty-five victims receiving restitution have been identified by the Court as having sustained economic losses. County Attorney Montgomery encourages any additional victims who have not been contacted by the County Attorney’s Office to contact the Asset Recovery Bureau at (602) 506-2271 for more information.