Seminole lawyer accused of stealing more than $840K from 16 personal injury victims, Pinellas sheriff says

Johnnie Pratt
Seminole lawyer accused of stealing more than 0K from 16 personal injury victims, Pinellas sheriff says

A Seminole lawyer was arrested on multiple charges of money laundering and grand theft after stealing more than $840,000 from more than 15 personal injury victims, investigators say. 

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said during a news conference Monday afternoon that PCSO’s economic crimes unit arrested Christopher Michael Reynolds, 44. He said Reynolds was operating a personal injury law firm in Seminole, targeting victims who were seeking help. 

Booking photo for Christopher Reynolds. Courtesy: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. 

“They’re licensed to practice law, they’ve got the boxes checked, they’ve got the credentials, they’ve got the credibility that goes with that, and they’re really just a thief who is ripping them off,” Sheriff Gualtieri said. 

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Once the personal injury victims retained Reynolds as their lawyer, he would settle their cases with insurance providers, but didn’t pay the victim’s medical bills or provide the victims their settlement money, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said. 

Detectives said the Seminole lawyer would get the settlement money from insurance providers for his own benefit. 

Photo of Christopher Reynolds. Courtesy: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. 

Sheriff Gualtieri said investigators were notified in October 2022 by one of the victims who had been represented by Reynolds after they were injured in a car accident. She said Reynolds abruptly stopped speaking with them and never paid their medical bills or received compensation.

The victim found out that her case was settled months prior from the insurance company, which led to her contacting the sheriff’s office. 

Economic crimes detectives said they also found out the Florida Bar received multiple complaints about Reynolds and were conducting their own investigation into systemic theft by the lawyer. 

Photo of Reynolds’ law firm. Courtesy: Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. 

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Detectives with the sheriff’s office said they found 16 total victims of Reynolds and said he stole more than $840,000 combined. The Florida Supreme Court issued an emergency suspension order on Reynolds’ Florida license to practice law back in December 2022, the sheriff said.

Detectives believe a portion of the stolen money was being used to buy drugs as well as pornography and prostitutes. 

Sheriff Gualtieri said they are continuing to investigate the case and do believe there are more victims of Reynolds who have yet to come forward. 

Anyone with information on the case or those who believe they may be a victim are asked to contact Detective Kakalow at (727) 582-6786. 

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