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Former Tewksbury Attorney Charged With Stealing More Than $400K From Clients

Defendant Allegedly Stole Money Entrusted to Him by Clients for His Personal Use; Also Allegedly Stole from Disabled Client.

(Editor's note: This article is based on information submitted by the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley.)

A former Tewksbury attorney has been indicted in connection with stealing more than $400,000 from multiple clients, one of whom is disabled.

Raymond Paczkowski, Jr., 77, of Tewksbury, was indicted Tuesday (Oct. 2) by a Statewide Grand Jury on one count of Larceny over $250 from a Disabled Person and seven counts of Larceny over $250.

In announcing the indictment, Attorney General Martha Coakley alleged that Paczkowski stole money that had been entrusted to him by clients seeking help to pay off mortgages or as part of the probate of an estate.

“We allege this defendant preyed on vulnerable clients who trusted him with their finances,” Coakley said. “By abusing his position of power as an attorney, this defendant allegedly took advantage of seven clients, stealing more than $400,000 in total and using it for his own purposes.”

In 2010, the AG’s Office began an investigation after the matter was referred from the Tewksbury Police Department and the Massachusetts Clients’ Security Board. The Clients’ Security Board distributes fund money to members of the public who have sustained a financial loss caused by the dishonest conduct of a member of the bar acting as an attorney or a fiduciary.

According to Coakley, Paczkowski worked as an attorney specializing in conveyancing and probate work, and also did some work with insurance claims and litigation. In 2008, authorities allege that Paczkowski began stealing from several of his clients.

According to investigators, Paczkowski received $75,000 in 2008 from a disabled client in order to pay off a mortgage on her home. Several months later, however, the client received a letter indicting that the loan was still outstanding. It is alleged that Paczkowski never gave the money to the lender and instead stole it for his personal use.

Prosecutors also allege Paczkowski took money from several other clients who had sought help in paying off their mortgages. In one case, a client gave Paczkowski $175,000, with the intent that Paczkowski immediately use those funds to pay off the existing mortgage on his property. The client, however, continued to receive monthly mortgage statements and it is alleged that Paczkowski stole the money instead of paying off the client’s mortgage.

In other instances, according to Coakley, Paczkowski allegedly stole money from clients who had hired him to assist with the handling or disposing of estate property after experiencing a death in the family. In one case, a client who assumed the full title to his mother’s property after she passed sought Paczkowski’s assistance in paying off a mortgage in order to refinance. The client’s mother owed roughly $109,000 to the company that held a mortgage on the property and Paczkowski allegedly received $158,100 from a new lender. According to investigators, Paczkowski forwarded the proceeds to the client, but failed to pay off the original mortgage company.

Prosecutors allege that the client realized the theft when he received multiple late notices on his mother’s mortgage statement.

A Statewide Grand Jury returned indictments against Paczkowski on October 1. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court at a later date. On November 24, 2010 Paczkowski was disbarred, after having been administratively suspended that October. Paczkowski had previously been disbarred in August 1985 for conduct similar to the present allegations.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Andrew Doherty, of AG Coakley’s Fraud and Financial Crimes Division, with assistance from Jack D’Isodoro of AG Coakley’s Financial Investigations Division, members of the Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office.

malcolm nichols October 02, 2012 at 08:47 PM
No Kidding? Unbelievable. It may not be illegal to be illegal. Hope it is still illegal to steal.
Who Me? October 02, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Most of us remember when he was nailed for doing the same thing almost 30 years ago. How can he have his law license back? Once you break a law as an Lawyer you should be finished as one.
southie October 02, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Correct me if i'm wrong wasn't this guy and Doug Sears partners?
Diane Nocco October 03, 2012 at 12:11 AM
He held my father's real estate papers hostage for months and months which ended up costing me a lot of money to my own attorney in her efforts to get them. He was upset that I wasn't using him to close my father's estate.....crooked psycho!
Lori October 03, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I remember the story of him stealing money from clients in 1985. It was even on TV. He was disbarred back then for it. How was it that he was again able to practice law without being monitored by the Mass Bar or other watchdog agency? I remember seeing the story on TV about how he got his license to practice law back after a period of time and thinking, "How could any client ever trust him with their money again after that?" Probably innocent people who don't know how to "Google" other people. I feel especially bad for the disabled person. I hope they get their money back. The saying "a leopard can't change its spots" comes to mind.
kck October 03, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I'm sorry to hear about Mr. Paczkowski's alleged fall from grace. Never good to hear that someone in a position of trust is accused of abusing it.
southie October 03, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Any clarification on this Mr. Sears?
Simon Cowell October 03, 2012 at 07:49 PM
They used to have an office together by Planet Fitness.
Douglas Sears October 03, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Southie: Along with other attorneys, I had an office at 1830 Main St. in a space Att. Paczkowski rented. I was not his "partner" but he did list me "Of Counsel" on his letterhead. I did not do any work in the office for at least the past 5 years. I had no involvement with any of the cases for which he stands accused of mishandling. I note that to my knowledge all who were wronged have been financially compensated in full by the Client's Security Board. They have been made whole. Now it is time for Att. Packzowski to face up to what he is alleged to have done in the Court. Doug
southie October 03, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Thank you for clearing that up.
Hard Line October 05, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Clearing up? He knew his past deeds and still set up shop with him. Would you want your name on letterhead with a former disbarred attorney? Certainly raises some questions of character....
tony October 05, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Thats funny. Mr. Sears knew about EVERYTHING that Ray was doing and he is still involved with the same druggies. This case is MUCH bigger then is being reported and Ray has stole millions from his former clients. Be on the look out for updates because this case is far from over.

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