A former own-personal injury lawyer who stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from clients’ settlements just before fleeing to Costa Rica was sentenced Thursday in federal court docket in Los Angeles to 12 years in jail.

Philip James Layfield, 48, aka Philip Samuel Pesin, was located responsible in August on 23 charges, which include 19 counts of felony wire fraud, one particular depend of mail fraud, 1 count of tax evasion and other charges, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. Just after the verdict, he was remanded to federal custody.

Layfield previously owned and operated a number of regulation corporations in California, like workplaces in Irvine, Los Angeles and El Segundo, alongside with Park City, Utah, and Scottsdale, Ariz.

In 2016, Layfield represented a customer who was still left critically wounded just after currently being strike by a motor vehicle in Orange County, according to the U.S. attorney’s place of work. Layfield negotiated a $3.9-million settlement for his customer but stole about $2 million for his have personalized use and to shell out other customers whose settlement money he experienced misappropriated, in accordance to charging paperwork.

The client in the Orange County circumstance been given only $25,000, in accordance to federal prosecutors.

In 2016, Layfield unsuccessful to file a federal revenue tax return, even with acquiring $3 million, which incorporated settlement funds he had embezzled from shoppers, authorities stated. He was also dependable for his legislation agency not paying out roughly $121,000 in payroll taxes for the 2nd quarter of 2017.

After he stole tens of millions from his clients’ settlement resources, Layfield moved to Coto de Caza in Costa Rica. In advance of he fled, he utilized for a $700,000 loan from a small business loan provider with misleading info, in accordance to federal prosecutors who detailed Layfield’s crimes for the duration of a 13-day demo last yr.

Layfield made use of the bulk of the dollars from the financial loan for particular charges, which include acquiring a horse and then transport other horses to Costa Rica, authorities reported. He was arrested in New Jersey in 2018 soon after he returned to the United States and was disbarred in California later that 12 months.