• Report: #167235

Complaint Review: Law Offices Of Philip H. Acosta/ Philip H. Acosta/Christina Bergman Acosta

  • Submitted: Wed, December 07, 2005
  • Updated: Sun, April 03, 2011

  • Reported By:Huntington Park California
Law Offices Of Philip H. Acosta/ Philip H. Acosta/Christina Bergman Acosta
800 Wilshire Blvd. Ste.900 Los Angeles, California U.S.A.
  • Phone: 213-833-1600
  • Web:
  • Category: Lawyers

Law Offices Of Philip H. Acosta/ Christina Bergman Acosta ripoff attorney and wife srewed over clients, doctors, vendors, ex-employees!! HELP END THIS FRAUD!! S.O.S!!!! Los Angeles California

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Gloria's lies are exposed

*General Comment: Stick to the facts Cristina Bergman Acosta

*General Comment: In response to Cristina Bergman Acosta's rebuttal

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Response to Gloria Chavez's False Accusations

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This "Personal Injury" Firm, has been incompetent,unreasonable,and very dishonest with the handling of clients from start to finish. The attorney and wife have retrieved thousands of dollars from the trust acct. to put into their general acct. They have lied to the chiro's about their checks, and the ones that do receive some payment are missing 30-40 %off their check, which ends up staying with the creator of the so called Dr.s' List,which is the money hungry wife. Vendors are also being cheated. They usually never get to speak to their debtors, its rare if any calls from them ever gets thru. Company staff is instructed to take messages for any vendor, bill collecter etc.

The sad thing is, the attorney has his picture all over bill boards, buses, many adds, that claim to handle your case with "respect,honesty and dignity." All lies!!! Clients need to know that they willnever speak to the attorney himself, they will never even shake the hand of the man who claims to be "aggresive in settling their cases" and who spents most of his time at home, while having employees who are not legal assistants, who have been working in this field less than a year or months and who get one week of training, and then are immediately put to work on files of innocent clients who are in total denial of the truth.The attorney and wife have acted carelessly in all handlings of clients,innocent vendors,and dr's. who have all trusted this Lawyer and his wife.

Cristina Acosta, loves to hire entry level people, you know why? (being that she is money hungry), She does not want to pay real profesionals what they are worth because she is greedy and wants it all for her. I worked with these people. She falsely accused, threathend, to squish me like a bug. She claims to have destroyed other people and wont hesitate to destroy me. I am not her only victim. Most employees who are not longer working in their fradulent office, has been practically treated like garbage.(I have personally witnessed this!) she has published false information to 3rd parties of lies concerning ex-employees.She thinks she is unstopable and almighty. She uses profanity when speaking of other employees including my self.

Gloria Chavez
Huntington Park, California
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/07/2005 10:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Law-Offices-Of-Philip-H-Acosta-Philip-H-AcostaChristina-Bergman-Acosta/Los-Angeles-California-90017/Law-Offices-Of-Philip-H-Acosta-Christina-Bergman-Acosta-ripoff-attorney-and-wife-srewed-167235. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 2Consumer 2Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Gloria's lies are exposed

AUTHOR: Christina Acosta - ()

Gloria was indeed arrested, whereas Phil and I never were. The DA has the records. The only reason Gloria's case was dropped was because she was among about 20 people involved in the embezzlement crime against our law firm. Kristie Harry was the mastermind of the embezzlement. The DA's office requested Phil and my help on the embezzlement case. Since it was a very complicated case, the DA's office wanted to focus their efforts on convicting Kristie Harry, Leslie Reid, and some others. Phil and I spent close to two years working with the DA's office and the Altadena Sheriff's Department to resolve this case. I personally provided all the documentation that the DA's office needed for their case.

The DA's office considered Gloria a small fish since the amount she stole was minor compared to the others involved in the embezzlement. Therefore, they did not pursue a case against Gloria. But, she did in fact falsify facts on her timesheet to illegally get additional funds from us. She was not allowed to work any extra hours. She decided to falsify the hours worked on her timesheet and got Kristie Harry (the bookkeeper) to pay her the money she was not due. The facts are the facts.

Any potential employers should be wary of hiring this uneducated, spiteful person. I don't know why Gloria feels she needs to make up lies about us. We gave her a chance to work at our law firm when no one else would. This is how she repays our kindness? We have many former employees that appreciated working for us. Some we gave glowing references to and are now government employees.

The facts are, Phil and I have never been arrested and never stole from anyone. Anyone who doubts this can check with the DA's office. We were victims of ungrateful, spiteful employees like Gloria and Kristie Harry, who were jealous of our success and wanted to destroy us since we were successful and had more status and money than they did. The crime was I trusted the wrong people.

I have recently been in contact with many of the doctors that I supposedly ripped off. They have been happy to hear from me and work with me. That is because I am the one telling the truth and Gloria Chavez is the one who is lying. Call the DA's office to see that Gloria Chavez was arrested and Phil and I were not. Also, there are records to show that Kristie Harry was supposed to get 14 years in prison for her crimes against us. However, she made a plea deal with the DA's office for a much lighter sentence and spent time in prison for her crimes against our law firm. The records state the truth.

 

I worked for the government in 2008 and 2009. I received a full security clearance from the government, which was required for my employement there. I wonder, can Gloria Chavez say the same? Does she have a security clearance? Can anyone verify that she is truthful and not just a spiteful former employee? The answer is NO!

Gloria is a pathetic person and a lazy employee who thinks she is now educated since she received a certificate from a worthless paralegal school. On the other hand, I have a Master's degree and several other degrees. I have worked for several highly-respected Fortune 500 companies. I have many business associates and professors that can and will vouch for me.

I will not allow Gloria to continue spreading lies about my husband and me.

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#2 General Comment

Stick to the facts Cristina Bergman Acosta

AUTHOR: sassy - ()

The Charges againts Gloria Chavez, were dismissed due to lack of proof, the case records are public in the Los Angeles Supreme Court. The record for Philip H. Acosta, and his arrest can be found in the California State Bar. Stick to the facts.

Toodles!
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#3 General Comment

In response to Cristina Bergman Acosta's rebuttal

AUTHOR: sassy - ()

All I see from your part is a bunch of blah, blah,blah! Let's stick to the facts. Fact#1. The charges againts Gloria, were dismissed for lack of proof. Fact#2. Philip H. Acosta, was arrested.  Now those are facts, and the records are public in Los Angeles Superior Court and the attorney's arrest information is available in the state bar of California.

Toodles!
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#4 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Response to Gloria Chavez's False Accusations

AUTHOR: Christina Acosta - (United States of America)

Christina Acostas Response to Gloria Chavezs Accusations

I am a private person, but I feel that I must respond to the mean-spirited lies that Gloria has written about my husbands law firm and me. Gloria states that my husbands law firm was dishonest, but she can offer absolutely so proof or documentation to back up her story. She
only has her word as a disgruntled, low-level former employee who is trying to cover up her involvement in an embezzlement of my husband's law firm that is well-documented with the
Los Angeles District Attorneys Office.

I would like to set the record straight so anyone reading her disparaging comments about us
and the firm will know the true story.

I hope that people who read this response will understand that Glorias ugly comments come
from an unhappy, disgruntled employee who wants to blame others for her lack of success and happiness in her life. Instead of working hard to get ahead, people like Gloria expect things to be handed to them on a silver platter. When they are not, they are angry, see the employer as the bad guy, and lash out in their attempt to hurt those that gave them a chance at success.

First of all, everything that Gloria wrote about us is a complete fabrication. Gloria was jealous because we were operating a successful law firm that was on the verge of gaining enormous success. We had strong market presence and revenues were steadily rising. However, we also had very high operating costs due to the expensive advertising campaign we had begun.

Gloria worked for us in 2005. During this time, she was involved in an embezzlement scheme against my husbands firm. At the time, we were just starting to see profits from of all the money we had sunk into advertising.

Gloria, like so many disillusioned employees, believed that she should be paid a much higher
salary than she was worth given her skill set and experience. With very little experience, she thought she should be paid the same amount as a seasoned legal secretary and considered herself a "professional." Gloria was paid the exact salary she was offered when she was hired and was even given a raise during her employment. However, Gloria wanted to believe that somehow she was being cheated and we were evil people who deserved to be destroyed.
No one forced her to take the job with my husbands firm. She had free will to not take the job
or quit at any time. 

Gloria lied about my husband and me to try to destroy our reputation and ruin us because she, 
in fact, was one of about 20 people involved in a large embezzlement scheme against my
husbands law firm. Details of this elaborate scheme are given below.

Anyone who would like proof of Glorias involvement can contact Ripoff Report and they in turn
can contact me. I will happily send copies of documentation and police reports that prove that
my husbands law firm was the victim of a huge embezzlement conspiracy committed by Kristie Harry, Gloria Chavez, and several other cohorts.

From late 2005 to 2008, the Los Angeles District Attorneys requested that I work closely with
them to help them prosecute the involved parties of the elaborate embezzlement against my husbands law firm. The LAPD and the DAs office did not have the resources to do all the investigation required to try this case, so they requested my help. They met with me several times during the course of the 2 1/2 years they pursued this case. They interviewed me several times in order to get all the facts of this case. I provided them with timelines and mounds of documentation that enabled them to prosecute the guilty parties.

You may contact the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office to verify my extensive involvement
in this case should you so desire. The lead District Attorney on our case was Dennis Lockfield.
The lead detective on the case was Maria Palmer.


The Facts Concerning the Embezzlement Case

Shortly after Gloria quit my husbands law firm, we discovered that she was involved in an embezzlement scheme against his law practice. Kristie Lashawn Harry was the mastermind of the conspiracy and Gloria was among the many co-conspirators.

Starting in late 2005, I spent about 2 years of my life pulling together timelines, details of
the embezzlement activities, company and bank records, and other documentation to help the
DAs office convict the involved parties. I worked closely with the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office, the LAPD, and even the Pasadena Sheriffs Department to convict Kristie Harry, Gloria Chavez, Leslie Reid, and others of conspiring to steal from the firm. My conscience would not allow me to let their crimes go unpunished. I knew that I had to take social responsibility
and that if I did not help them, the DAs office would not have the details and documentation
they needed to adequately prosecute these criminals, and they would go out and commit similar crimes against someone else.

Based on the documentation I gave the DAs office, Gloria was arrested for theft in 2006. Since there were so many involved parties in the embezzlement case, the DAs office decided that they would not pursue some of the people in the case who stole lesser amounts because they wanted to concentrate their efforts on the bigger fish. They feared that when the case went to trial, the jury might get confused with such an elaborate case that had such an intricate web of deception, so many involved parties, and so many details to absorb.

The DAs office decided to concentrate their efforts on convicting Kristie Harry and the other
major players like Leslie Reid that stole the most money from the firm and dismiss the others
to get the case to a manageable level. Therefore, they decided to release Gloria. Many of the
other co-conspirators involved in the embezzlement case were either given lighter sentences
or obtained plea deals in exchange for their testimony against Kristie Harry.

Due to my extensive work with the LAPD and DAs office, in mid-2008 Kristie Harry received a
prison sentence of close to four years for her crimes. The DA was seeking a 14-year sentence,
but accepted a plea deal of less than four years to close the case. We were very upset that the
DA was willing to take this plea deal due to the overwhelming evidence they had to prosecute
the case. The main issue was that the DAs office was afraid that a jury may not completely understand all the facts of the case since it involved the fraudulent use of QuickBooks and it was so intricate it was difficult for the average person to grasp. 
 
Because Kristie Harry and her cohorts stole so much money from the law firm, we had to use
much of the law firm's profits and funds from our personal bank accounts and credit cards to
pay many of the doctors, vendors, and clients that Kristie and her cohorts stole from.
Unfortunately, after using up much of these resources, we could not pay all the vendors since
we could not completely cover the huge amounts that were embezzled from the firm.
Therefore, some vendors were not paid. 


We Have Moved On

This whole affair has significantly impacted our finances and credit, and has created a hole in
our hearts. It has not, however, changed our commitment to integrity and our belief in society
and our responsibility to it. It has been difficult to believe that we were victims of such deceitful, vindictive employees that were so unbelievably greedy and had so much animosity toward us because of our success.

We have moved on and try to remain positive. We learned a very valuable, but expensive
lesson in life, but refuse to let these animals destroy our spirits. Like so many law firms, we unfortunately trusted employees that we should not have trusted and did not have all the checks and balances in place to detect carefully orchestrated fraudulent activities. We were naive and paid dearly for that naivety. In the end, my husband became disillusioned with the personal injury business and sold his law practice. He has become a novelist (his lifelong
dream) and is presently writing a novel based on our story. He expects to publish it shortly
in the hopes that others may learn from our horrific experiences.

In 2008 and 2009, I worked in the IT Department for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. I managed
the endangered  species database, long after the time that Gloria claims that I was involved in fraudulent activities at the law firm. To obtain a position with the U.S. government is difficult since they spend months checking every nook and cranny of your life. You must go through an extensive background check to obtain employment with the federal government, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife required a security clearance for employment with them.

In 2008, I received a security clearance and successfully worked for the government managing
the endangered species database, writing procedures for it, training end users, and performing
IT support activities for the Carlsbad Fish & Wildlife Office.

The federal government thoroughly checked me out and discovered that my husband and I were innocent of Glorias accusations. They would never have given me a security clearance and I could not have worked for the government if I was a thief and liar. The government would not have tolerated it. I am presently going back to school and studying graphic design and the arts.


The Facts About Philip H. Acosta, A Professional Law Corporation

Gloria Chavez was one of several conspirators who stole money from my husbands law firm. 
She assisted the mastermind (Kristie) in her conspiracy to embezzle funds from it. As the firms receptionist, Gloria  helped Kristie cover up fraudulent activities. In addition, Gloria had Kristie write her checks for money she was not entitled to receive and she falsely completed a few time sheets in her efforts to obtain more money from the law firm. We fired Kristie Harry for theft the very day that Gloria wrote the horrible comments about us on Rip-off Report.

Unfortunately, we trusted Kristie Harry and were completely unaware that she was not paying
all our doctors, vendors, and clients as Philip had instructed her. Instead, she paid herself and
her co-conspirators. Kristie wrote checks to the doctors, vendors, and clients as per Philips instructions. My husband signed the checks and gave them back to Kristie to mail. Kristie Harry then ripped up many of these checks and in their place wrote checks to herself and her cohorts.

When my husband reviewed the firms accounts in QuickBooks, our bank accounts looked fine because the criminal activity was carefully hidden. Unfortunately, by the time we discovered Kristies and Glorias crimes, it was too late. They had done too much damage to the firm for us to get back to the level of success we were at previously, and we could no longer afford to spend money on advertising. 

The biggest mistake that we made was trusting Kristie Harry and Gloria Chavez. Since my
husband had been operating his law firm for many years without ever experiencing theft,
we were naive and too trusting of employees. Unfortunately we didn't realize that we could
hire employees that could be as deceitful and scheming as Gloria and Kristie proved to be.

At the time of the embezzlement, I was spending all my time developing and implementing
our law firms intricate marketing plan, which consumed all my time. My husband was overseeing the firms operations. Unfortunately, we mistakenly placed too much trust in Kristie, and she betrayed that trust.

We fired Kristie Harry when we discovered she had stolen $600 from one of the firms bank accounts. Once we fired Kristie, Gloria immediately quit. At the time, we were completely unaware that over a period of a few months, Kristie had actually stolen a few hundred thousand dollars from the law practice and was systematically working on destroying the
law firm so she and her cohorts (including Gloria) would not be caught.

On the surface, it looked like all the clients, doctors, and vendors were being paid properly. As
a law firm, we always paid our clients, doctors, vendors, and employees the exact amount they were due. Many doctors and vendors wanted to do business with us because we had strong market presence and were highly successful. When Kristie Harry was the Office Manager, we were unaware that the doctors, clients, and vendors were not being paid properly because it appeared on the surface that our procedures were being followed.

Kristie used the funds that were intended for these entities to pay herself and her co-conspirators. In QuickBooks it looked like all was fine and that the bills were being paid on time. However, unbeknownst to us, Kristie was deceiving us and was not paying these individuals and companies as she was instructed. As the firms receptionist, Gloria was diverting calls that would expose their crimes away from Philip and me. Since we trusted Kristie and Gloria, we did not suspect fraud and did not carefully review the books for fraudulent activity. We implicitly believed in Kristies and Glorias honesty.


Facts About the Law Firm

Gloria came to us with little to no experience, but we hired her because she seemed eager to become a legal secretary. She was hired as a receptionist and was also being trained as a legal assistant. The vast majority of attorneys will not hire a legal assistant without several years of legal experience, but we gave young people a chance to gain experience in the legal field. Since Gloria was an entry-level person, she was paid a low rate because we would have to spend a
great deal of time training her and that training was time-consuming and expensive. This was explained to her when we hired her. She was never obligated to take a job with the firm.

In the past we had been successful hiring entry-level people who were willing to work hard to
learn our legal procedures and advance in the firm based on their contributions and skills. Some employees stayed for years and moved up within the company. Gloria was obviously resentful that she was not being paid the salary of a seasoned legal secretary. She had paid quite a lot for her paralegal training, which we considered basically worthless.

Unfortunately, Gloria wanted to blame us for her shortcomings and lack of experience. Gloria
was only a receptionist at the firm, required extensive training, and had very little if any prior
legal experience. Like most firms, we paid entry-level employees low wages until they were
able to prove their skills.

In the personal injury business, since personal injury settlements are generally so low, and
often wont cover the doctors full bills and leave enough money for the client, we only worked
with doctors who agreed to accept a lower amount than their bills so that the client could
receive some money from the settlement amount. We did not want the client to owe the
doctors anything after the case was finalized and we wanted the clients to at least receive
some money from the settlements for their pain and suffering. Our concern was always to
protect our clients and make sure they were treated fairly.  

It is unfortunate that Gloria became entangled in the embezzlement conspiracy carefully 
orchestrated by Kristie Harry. Apparently Gloria felt that she needed to disparage our names
and reputation to cover up her involvement in the embezzlement scheme.


Warning to All Employers

I truly hope that this response to Gloria Chavezs scathing comments will serve as a warning
to any potential employer that considers hiring Gloria. From my experience with her, she has
proved to be an unhappy, vindictive person who cannot be trusted. She does not appreciate
being given honest work and is only interested in what she can get for herself, even if she
has to lie and steal to get it. 
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