An online lawyer who sued his former employer and settled claims that he was retaliated against for defending a woman who was abused by her former boyfriend has found himself facing allegations of a series of crimes including fraud, assault and theft.
Richard J. Jewell, who represents victims of domestic violence, filed the lawsuit against the company he co-founded in 2011 that handles complaints of sexual abuse against clients.
The suit, filed in federal court in San Diego, accuses the company of “stealing” from clients’ families, using false claims of abuse and “fraudulent business practices.”
In a statement, a spokeswoman for the firm said it was “reviewing the suit and will respond in due course.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Jewell and the firm have been involved in the theft of $20,000 in clients’ funds, as well as “deceptive and unlawful business practices” that violate the law.
Jewel, who was a partner at the law firm Jones Day before joining The Wall St. Journal in 2010, also says he has been a victim of “sexual assault and harassment,” a claim he denies.
In the suit, Jewell alleges that he filed a complaint about the company with the Justice Department in 2014 and was “complained of sexual harassment” by a company lawyer who he alleges later “tried to bribe him” by providing the firm with $20 million.
In addition to the $20-million, the suit also alleges Jewell was sexually assaulted in 2012 and “was threatened with bodily harm by a former partner of the firm,” according to the lawsuit.
It says he was later “engaged in a pattern of sexual misconduct with a subordinate” and that his complaints were “not pursued or substantiated.”
A spokesman for the Justice Dept. declined to comment on the lawsuit or the allegations against Jewell.
Jewels case was first reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The lawsuit was filed against the San Diego-based law firm of Jones Day and alleges that the firm engaged in “illegal business practices,” such as making fraudulent claims of family ties, and “unlawfully and illegally” using confidential client information.
The lawyer, who is also known as Richard Jewell III, is not identified in the suit.
Jewell says he is not involved in a lawsuit and has not spoken publicly about the matter.
He said he filed the suit after his wife had been threatened with physical violence by her estranged husband, who he says abused her, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
The lawsuit also accuses the firm of “deliberately withholding the truth and intentionally misrepresenting the facts and circumstances of the case to the public.”