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Malpractice complaint alleges broad-based attorney wrongdoing

As a recent media tale relates, there are certainly a few twists and turns in the fraud-related story of a California woman who recently filed a legal malpractice complaint against an attorney from a large national law firm.

That firm is Sidley Austin LLP of Chicago, which also has offices in many cities across the country, including Los Angeles.

The fraud saga traces back a few years to an initial meeting the woman had with a man who identified himself as a private investigator. That individual supplied the woman with incriminating photo evidence of her husband with another female. In a subsequent divorce settlement, the woman received $10 million.

In various other meetings the woman had with the investigator, he allegedly pushed his connections with Sidley Austin, eventually introducing her to a Sidley attorney. Her complaint states that the lawyer and investigator together met with her at one of the firm's offices and persuaded her to invest in a company having a federal government contract "that would pay out millions in profits."

She did so, with her complaint alleging that the investment scheme was entirely fraudulent and that the investigator -- who in now in prison on various fraud charges relating to another matter -- spent much of the millions she provided on personal items.

Her lawsuit specifically targets the Sidley lawyer, contending that he closely participated in the fraud, knowing that "the purported DOD contract was a complete work of fiction from start to finish."

The complaint seeks actual and punitive damages, alleging that the attorney aided and abetted and conspired to commit fraud and also breached his fiduciary duty to the woman as her legal adviser

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