Man pleads guilty to role in $7 million scam of law firm

A south suburban man has pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme that resulted in the theft of more than $7 million from a Chicago law firm two years ago.

David Leisen, 59, of Frankfort, was sentenced to six months in jail and 24 months probation in exchange for his guilty plea, court records show. He also was ordered to pay $464 in fines.

Leisen was charged with Patricia Lapinski, 68, and her sister Deborah Acuna, 63, both of Oak Brook, and James Bauer, 64, of North Aurora.

Prosecutors say Lapinski, former office manager for the Vedder Price law firm, was responsible for choosing vendors and processing payments. She and the others created invoices for goods that were never delivered and services that were never performed, then pocketed the proceeds.

During the late 1980s, Lapinski and Acuna founded DAS Designs, which supplied furniture to the law firm. In 2002, Lapinski switched to another company but continued to pay DAS, authorities said.

Lapinski and Acuno spent the $6.4 million in profits on homes and vacations, among other items, prosecutors said.

In 2011, Lapinski contacted longtime Vedder Price vendors Bauer and Leisen, who agreed to falsify invoices for supplies and labor, netting about $950,000, prosecutors said.

Lapinski pleaded guilt to theft in September and was sentenced to six years in prison. Bauer pleaded guilty to theft in April 2015 and was sentenced to two years conditional discharge. He also paid $100,000 in restitution, court records showed.

Charges against Acuna are pending.

Four from suburbs charged in embezzlement scheme

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