NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) – A Bulgaria-based lawyer who does business in New York is suing two law firms and an individual attorney claiming mishandling of trust funds, fraudulent billing, double-billing, misrepresenting work performed and dereliction of their legal duties. He is seeking $10 million in damages plus interest, costs and more.
Zahari Tomov filed a complaint Feb. 22 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New York, Southern Division against Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, Graciela Josefina Dixon Canton of Panama, as an individual attorney and Dixon Attorneys of Panama.
In a complicated scenario that began in 2013, according to the complaint, Tomov hired Dixon Attorneys to represent him in an effort to collect fees owed him by Ayr Logistics LTD Inc., a corporation registered in Texas and owned partially by a corporation registered in Bulgaria. Dixon in turn hired and consulted with Gibbons PC as that law firm was based in New York, the suit says, as Ayr Logistics eventually declared bankruptcy.
Tomov says he put tens of thousands of dollars into trust funds to be used for his legal expenses, but that neither Dixon nor Gibbons used them properly or have given a detailed account. He alleges the attorneys failed to file needed documents with the court on time, billed him for work that was never done, double-billed him for hundreds of thousands of dollars for work that had already been paid for, made unauthorized withdrawals from his account and failed to provide him with details about expenses his account paid for.
In addition, Tomov claims, when he demanded his money and his files back, both firms and Dixon stopped communicating with him.
Because he has no access to his files, he alleges, he cannot pursue legal action to recover his money, and he also has been unable to pursue other related legal matters as he has no access to needed materials.
The defendants are charged with depleting trust funds without authority, breach of contract, legal malpractice, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, conspiracy to misuse funds and unjust enrichment. Tomov is requesting a jury trial and seeking $10 million in damages, an order to return his files, pre- and post-judgment interest, punitive damages and any other remedies the court deems proper.
He is represented by Sylvia J. Rolinski of the Rolinski Law Group LLC in Potomac, Maryland.
Representatives of Gibbons PC did not respond to requests for comment.
Gibbons PC also was recently sued in a federal court in Pennsylvania by a former employee who alleged she was terminated because of her gender.