Disgraced and disbarred former Minneapolis attorney David Moskal, who spent time in prison for stealing from his clients, died last week in Colorado, where he had been living in recent years.
No cause of death was listed in the mortuary obituary for Moskal, 54. Memorial contributions were suggested for two suicide-prevention organizations.
Moskal's once-prosperous law practice came to a crashing end in the late 1990s after it was discovered that the personal injury attorney regularly stole from the accident settlement accounts of his clients. Estimates of the theft ranged from $1.8 million to $5 million, which he spent on items such as a slope-side condominium in Colorado, a lakeside cabin in central Minnesota and a luxury home in Edina.
Moskal, who ranked No. 1 in his class at William Mitchell College of Law, was sentenced to five years in prison for his misdeeds, which included a last-minute lavish spending spree when he was supposed to be helping prosecutors locate assets with which to repay his client victims.
After he completed his prison sentence, Moskal moved to Colorado, where he reportedly was involved in additional controversial activities, including suggestions that he had led people to believe he was still an attorney while working for a medical clinic.
At the height of his legal career, Moskal was a named partner with the law firm now called Schwebel Goetz & Sieben. Back then, the firm was known as Schwebel, Goetz, Sieben & Moskal. He regularly earned $1 million a year.
The firm, however, quickly distanced itself from Moskal after the theft was discovered, fired him and reimbursed victims out of its own resources.
Moskal claimed that he was clinically depressed and lacked judgment when he stole the funds.
David Phelps • 612-673-7269