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Milwaukee attorney accused of stealing $500K from sheriff sales of homes

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MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - A suburban Milwaukee attorney is accused of stealing over a half-million-dollars that was never claimed in foreclosure cases.

Prosecutors said 52-year-old Thomas Bielinski of Brookfield falsely told judges that he represented the owners of foreclosed houses who never claimed surplus funds from sheriff’s sales of their former homes.

Authorities said Bielinski filed almost 50 fraudulent claims with the courts since 2007. Judges had rejected four claims worth $84,000, but they approved the rest.

Most of the money reportedly went into two bank accounts in the names of fake businesses.

Prosecutors said Bielinski also stole court files from the cases he got involved with. Investigators found 16 original court files when they searched his home – along with seals of two fake notaries. Officials said he did not interfere with clients’ actual trust accounts.

Bielinski graduated from the Marquette Law School in 1985, but prosecutors did not have an actual law practice at the time of the incidents. He’s charged in Milwaukee County with a single count of theft-by-fraud.

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