Former Irvine attorney accused of embezzlement

A former Irvine attorney is accused of embezzling more than $150,000 worth of insurance claims and defrauding his clients, according to prosecutors.

Tuan Thanh Tran, 43, pleaded not guilty Friday to 11 felony counts of acts constituting forgery and five felony counts of embezzlement by fiduciary of trust, according to Orange County Superior Court records.

Prosecutors allege that Tran represented five different clients who sought damages for traffic accidents between May 2011 and February 2012.

Tran forged their signatures, settled with the insurance companies without informing them, and kept the money for himself, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

In June, Tran became ineligible to practice law after former clients and those involved in the current case against him filed complaints with the state bar. He was first admitted to the bar in 1999.

The state bar shows Tran acted dishonestly, caused harm to his clients and had multiple patterns of misconduct, according to disbarment records.

The decision cites the complaints of 13 clients who filed similar claims to those with which Tran is charged.

Tran did not return a request for comment Friday afternoon.

— Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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