WEST CHESTER, PA — Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced the arrest of attorney Joshua Janis on charges of defrauding his mother-in-law of $5,000. The defendant already has been arrested three times for defrauding over 30 former clients and once for theft charges relating to his wife as a victim. The defendant was admitted to practice law in Pennsylvania in 2006. His law license was suspended for five years in 2015. The total sum of alleged thefts from former clients is now in excess of $100,000, in addition to the thefts from his mother-in-law.
District Attorney Hogan stated, “The defendant’s pattern of conduct is reprehensible. He regarded everybody he met as a potential victim – – his clients, his wife, even his mother-in-law. Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Yen and the Chester County Detectives are going to keep investigating and charge the defendant for every person he has defrauded in Chester County.”
The defendant is 38 years old. During the relevant time period, he resided in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. From 2006 to 2013, he worked for a law firm in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He started his own law firm in Downingtown in 2013 and moved around to various other locations in Chester County until his law license was suspended in 2015.
The allegations from the criminal complaint are as follows:
After the defendant was arrested for the first time, his wife Jennifer Hulnick left him and divorced him. During the subsequent time period, she discovered that the defendant had opened multiple accounts in her name without her permission and incurred substantial debts in her name
The defendant’s wife then discovered that the defendant had done the same thing to his mother-in-law, Ellen Hulnick. The defendant’s wife reported this conduct to the Chester County Detectives, who discovered that the defendant set up a JP Morgan account in Ellen Hulnick’s name, but with his own contact information and phone number, preventing his mother-in-law from knowing about the account. The defendant used his mother-in-law’s name, social security number, and date of birth to open the account. The defendant then incurred $5,000 in unpaid debt on this account.
The defendant is charged with Theft and related offenses. Defendant’s bail was set at $10,000 unsecured, with a preliminary hearing on February 15, 2019.
The Chester County Detectives investigated this matter. The assigned prosecutor is Chief Deputy District Attorney Ron Yen. Anyone with additional information should contact Chester County Detective Bob Dougherty at 610-344-6866.
A criminal defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
Source: Chester County District Attorney Office
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