Thursday, February 22, 2024

Seminole lawyer spends client’s settlement money for drug, prostitution, and pornography, shorting his clients of over $800,000

On February 27, 2023, Sheriff Gualtieri held a press conference to discuss the arrest of a Seminole lawyer. Detectives assigned to the Economic Crimes Unit (ECU) arrested personal injury attorney 44-year-old Christopher Reynolds of Pinellas Park on multiple money laundering charges and grand theft.

Reynolds operated a personal injury law firm located at 7178 Seminole Boulevard in Seminole, targeting individuals who were victims of personal injury. Reynolds would be retained by the victims, settle their case with the insurance providers, and fail to pay the victim’s medical bills or provide the victim their settlement money. Reynolds would procure the settlement money from the insurance providers for his benefit.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office was notified in October of 2022 by one of the victims, who stated Reynolds abruptly stopped communicating with them and never paid their medical bills or received compensation.

Detectives attempted to visit Reynolds’ office on October 26, 2022, but the office was closed. Neighboring businesses reported that the office had been closed for many months, and the landlord stated that Reynolds had stopped paying rent in June of 2022.

Reynolds’ wife was attempting to come to financial terms for the dissolution of their marriage. On November 2, 2022, Christoper told her he could not write her a check because he was six figures in debt with his trust accounts. According to his now ex-wife, Reynolds would not sign the divorce paperwork and forced her to obtain a default decision by the courts. Her post on facebook she stated the following, “So I had to get a hearing after the New Year to finally be divorced from you and this nightmare can end.”

Reynolds, from June 20, 2022, through September 30, 2022, spent approximately $24,542.27 on Uber, approximately $74,154.08 on Amazon purchases, approximately $30,585.60 on OnlyFans, approximately $164,348.91 to Capital One, and approximately $397,587.64 on Paypal purchases.

Detectives reported that Reynolds spent the client’s money on drugs, prostitution, and pornography.

So far, 16 victims have been identified, with a combined theft amount of over $840,000.00. If you have any information regarding this case or believe you are a victim, please contact Detective Kakalow at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office at 727-582-6786.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri stated, “They’re licensed to practice law, they’ve got the boxes checked, they’ve got the credentials, they’ve got the credibility that goes with that, and they’re really just a thief who is ripping them off.”  

The investigation continues.

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