Attorney Misconduct, In-House Counsel, Lawyerly Lairs, Lindquist & Vennum, Real Estate, White-Collar Crime

Lawyerly Lairs: Partner Accused of Misappropriating Money to Overhaul Minnesota Mansion

Back in the summer of 2008, we wrote a post entitled “Summer Associates of the Day: Sapphic Summers in Lesbianic Lip-Lock.” The title of the post pretty much says it all.

Well, it turns out that a partner at the same firm, Minneapolis-based Lindquist & Vennum, may have been misbehaving too. The Pioneer Press reports that Michael S. Margulies, a leading Twin Cities real estate lawyer, has been accused of professional misconduct — in the form of “misappropriat[ing] significant sums from a limited number of clients and from the firm,” according to a statement by the firm. Margulies has withdrawn from the firm’s partnership, reported his conduct to Minnesota’s professional responsibility office, and agreed to be disbarred. He has also resigned from the St. Paul Planning Commission, where he served several terms under different mayors.

What prompted this alleged theft? It seems that Michael Margulies, former head of Lindquist’s real estate group, may have loved real estate not wisely, but too well. From the Pioneer Press:

Margulies, 56, of St. Paul, and his personal company, Triad Services, were sued in Ramsey County District Court by a real estate development company for which he had worked as an attorney, secretary and treasurer. In the lawsuit, CMB Minnetonka LLC alleged that Margulies “made numerous illicit withdrawals” from CMB’s bank account and line of credit at Highland Bank and used the money — $1.5 million or more — for his own purposes.

Specifically, the suit claims Margulies spent the money to overhaul the historic mansion at 516 Summit Ave. in St. Paul that he owned with his former wife.

So he allegedly did it all for love of a house. Was it worth it? Just how nice is this pile o’ bricks?

Pretty darn nice. It’s currently on the market for $1.75 million — which buys you a nice two-bedroom in Manhattan, but a heck of a lot more in St. Paul. The four-bedroom home boasts over 5,000 square feet of living space. The listing describes the house as follows:

Beautifully refurbished brick mansion with incredible details and character. Stunning foyer, grand living & dining rooms, cooks kitchen w/ large butlers pantry. Beautiful lower level family room. A showplace!

It appears that the property is now owned by Margulies’s ex-wife, Jeanne Forneris. According to Forbes, she’s in-house at American Medical Systems Holdings Inc., where she serves as senior vice president and general counsel.

For a closer look at 516 Summit Avenue , check out the slideshow below — click on each image to enlarge. Anyone up for a game of billiards?

Lindquist & Vennum law firm ousts partner for misconduct [Pioneer Press]
516 Summit Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota [Edina Realty]

(hidden for your protection)

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