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Disbarred Florida Attorney Arrested for Fraud
James Edward Rawe Jr., a disbarred attorney from Bradenton, Florida, has been arrested on an outstanding warrant, according to The Bradenton Herald.

The warrant charged Rawe with taking money from a client and not providing legal services.

He was arrested at home on Wednesday without issue, according to Dave Bristow, a spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Rawe was charged in Sarasota County with the intent to defraud a client of less than $20,000. He posted $10,000 bond and was released from the Manatee County jail.

Rawe was disbarred from practicing law permanently and is not allowed to have any contact with the victim. He is also required to notify the Florida Bar when he is arrested and file proof of notification in court within 10 days of being arrested.

Rawe told The Bradenton Herald that he was in the midst of filing the client’s paperwork when he was fired from his job.

"We entered into an agreement with partial retainer and the bulk of my fee was going to come from his settlement," Rawe said. "The victim was informed that the retainer would be extinguished at the time the case was ready to file."

Rawe claims he was not aware of the charge even though the warrant was issued back in October.

An investigation into Rawe began in June when it was alleged that he took $5,440 from a client and never performed legal work he was hired to perform.

Rawe and the client met three times from March to April to discuss the case. At all three meetings, the client handed Rawe money.

The client told investigators that Rawe had excuses during all the subsequent phone calls when asked why legal work was not being performed.

The client and Rawe spoke for one final time in May. During this discussion, the client demanded that his money be returned. After this, Rawe stopped taking the client’s calls.

Rawe claims he has documents that show the work was performed.

Rawe was disbarred permanently on December 5 after the Florida Supreme Court ruled that he practiced law while suspended.

Rawe had been issued a suspension back in April after found in contempt for failing to respond to a court order to show cause for complaints filed against him back in 2013.

When Rawe was permanently disbarred, he had already been disbarred for failing to maintain trust accounts and records and misappropriating funds in accordance with the rules of the Bar.

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