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FOX 11 Investigative

Busted! Lawyer Faces Charges Of Theft, Forgery and Fraud

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A disbarred attorney contracted by Los Angeles County Metro Transportation Authority is charged with defrauding the county out of millions of dollars.

Criminal defense attorney James Reiss, who worked for Metro for 15 years as a contract lawyer defending the MTA in high profile cases, was charged with 11 felony counts of grand theft, forgery and fraud.

The attorney is charged with creating fraudulent documents designed to get Metro to cut him a check directly, rather than to a plaintiff who was awarded a multi-million dollar judgment.

"Anyone looking at the documents from the County would know (they) were bogus," said Jeffrey Pop, the attorney for the plaintiff. "The most elementary internal controls would have kept the County from losing money."

Investigative producer Heidi Cuda and reporters Gina Silva and Phil Shuman have this FOX 11 investigation.

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