Feds: Jersey City attorney indicted for defrauding clients out of over $2 million

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Longtime Jersey City attorney James Lisa has been indicted for defrauding clients out of over $2 million, dating back to a case that began in 2014, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.

Jersey City attorney James Lisa. AP Photo/Julio Cortez, Pool.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

James R. Lisa, 67, of Jersey City, is charged by indictment with three counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.

He was arraigned today by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Jose R. Almonte, where he pleaded not guilty and was release on $100,000 unsecured bond.

In 2014, Lisa was retained by a family to help repatriate millions of dollars that had been transferred by other family members to offshore bank accounts decades earlier.

Lisa was also retained to help resolve the tax issues related to the repatriation of the funds. In 2015, Lisa successfully repatriated more than $6 million of the family’s funds, but proceeded to falsely advise the family that the funds remained offshore.

In 2017, Lisa provided $4 million of the repatriated funds to the family but continued to falsely represent that the remaining $2 million remained beyond his control.

From there, he  falsely told the family that he successfully resolved the tax implications of repatriating the funds.

In 2016, Lisa sent the family a fraudulent IRS “closing agreement” reflecting an agreement with the IRS for the family to pay $3 million in taxes and penalties for the repatriated funds.

Then in 2018, Lisa sent the family another fraudulent closing agreement reflecting an agreement with the IRS for the family to pay $2 million in taxes and penalties because only $4 million was purportedly repatriated. In fact, the IRS never entered into these agreements and the IRS employees who purportedly signed the documents never did so.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000.

Each count of aggravated identity theft carries a statutory mandatory penalty of two years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other term of imprisonment, and a fine not to exceed $250,000.

Lisa has represented high-profile clients ranging from a Pennsylvania man who got pulled over with a truck full of guns while he was on his way to rescue a woman he believed to be in drug trouble in New York in 2017, to the infamous Newport Centre Mall Easter bunny who was arrested after getting into a fist fight while in costume the year prior.

He has faced sanctions from the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics dating back to 1995, related to record keeping deficiencies, cocaine usage, practicing law in New York while his license was suspended in New Jersey, and setting up an inappropriate fee-sharing arrangement with a Hudson County Correctional Facility officer, among other things.


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5 COMMENTS

  1. We’ll we’ll, I been looking for my lawyer for a couples months, On August 09 , 2022 I retain a lawyer I pay him by credit card which was $1,000 he said he was working on my case due to that Covid he said that I had to wait for a long time because they was changing judges in the courthouse and the dates were and they we’re backed up. I need help !!

    • Here is the email address for the NJ AG’s Office of Attorney Ethics… oae.mbx@njcourts.gov …file a report w/all the detailed info—they R supposed 2 send U a confirmation…so keep sending until U get one… then they will forward ure issue 2 the local Hudson County Office… & U shud hear from them…

  2. Mr lisa is a great lawyer. got my case dismissed and secured funds illegally siezed from me. I know he will beat this case and everything will be resolved. GOD WILLING

  3. Hi John H, from my hideout on the Amazon!
    Dc…U know a person by the company he keeps!!!

    He has faced sanctions from the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics dating back to 1995, related to record keeping deficiencies, cocaine usage!!! (if he was Black! & some non-abogado in JC he’d probably B sitting in SouthWoods 2day,) practicing law in New York while his license was suspended in New Jersey, and setting up an inappropriate fee-sharing arrangement with a Hudson County Correctional Facility officer, among other things……Among! other things!!!

  4. I did like him at one time or another until I was apart of the scams from the Hudson County Correctional Center where my family and I, single Black parent lost my career, pension and livelihood, with theses Hudson County dirt bags attorney’s, I hope they all get caught and loose their pensions and GO TO JAIL🤬🤔🤬😩

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