Ex-NYC Attorney Paul Paradis Sentenced to 33 Months for $2.2M Kickback Scheme in LA Legal Fiasco.
On November 3, former New York City attorney Paul O. Paradis received a prison sentence of 33 months due to his involvement in a legal scheme. Paradis had been the owner of Manhattan’s Paradis Law Group. The United States Attorney’s Office reported that he accepted a $2.2 million kickback to solicit another attorney for a fraudulent lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles.
The prosecution claims Paradis assisted federal investigators, providing valuable information that led to the guilty pleas of David H. Wright, ex-general manager of LADWP; Thomas H. Peters, former chief of the City Attorney’s Office litigation; and David F. Alexander, prior Chief Information Security Officer of LADWP. Paradis’ contributions considerably aided in securing appropriate sentencing outcomes for these individuals.
In January 2022, Paradis pleaded guilty to one count of bribery, following the revelation of his part in a scam in the aftermath of a billing fiasco that affected the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). As per United States Attorney’s Office report, this problematic billing system, implemented in 2013, resulted in overcharged utility bills for the facility’s hundreds of thousands of ratepayers, inciting several lawsuits against the City and LADWP.
United States District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. referred to a level of corruption as “mind-boggling” while commenting on this case. Even though the prosecution had recommended an 18-month prison sentence due to Paradis’ collaboration with the federal and State Bar of California investigations. However, Judge Blumenfeld determined that a heftier sentence was necessary because of the severity and harm of Paradis’ actions. Following, David H. Wright and David F. Alexander, co-conspirators, were sentenced to six and four years in federal prison, respectively; Thomas H. Peters received a probation sentence.