A well-known Carlisle attorney is being charged with taking money that should have been paid to his clients and using it for his own purposes, including gambling at various casinos. Karl Rominger, who has been invovled in several high profile cases, including being a member of disgraced Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky's defense team, faces a host of felony charges, including multiple counts of Theft by Unlawful Taking- Movable Property, Theft by Failing to make Required Dispersal of Funds, Theft by Deception- False Impression, and Dealing in Proceeds of Unlawful Activities with Intent to Promote. Investigators say Rominger has been under investigation since March of 2014. He surrendered his license to practice in April, 2014.
Rominger told investigators that about $800,000 of clients' funds were missing from iolta accounts he held. An IOLTA (Interest on Lawyers Trust Account) is an account in which lawyers hold funds. As far back as 2012, Rominger was failing to disperse funds in these accounts to clients that won settlements.
In one example of how Rominger operated, investigators told the story of an accident victim Rominger represented. Natasha Alamo was a Rominger client, injured in motor vehicle accident in 2010. Alamo was awarded $500,000 in a settlement and the money was deposited into an iolta account maintained by Rominger. But Alamo only received $65,000 from Rominger. His attorney fees amounted to $166,666.50. According to court documents, Rominger admitted to misappropriating $270,833.91 for personal use, including gambling at casinos.
A forensic accountant verified all the findings in the Alamo case.
In all Rominger took $535,135.47 of client money for his own personal use.