Police: Westport man played lawyer to win settlement

TRUMBULL – Police said a Westport man, passing himself off as a lawyer able to practice in this state, represented a Trumbull woman in the settlement of a car crash lawsuit.

Stephen R. Krawitz, 62, settled the case for the local woman, keeping more than $30,000 of the settlement for his own “legal fee,” police said.

Krawitz, of Ludlow Road, Westport, was charged Tuesday with first-degree larceny and practicing law without a license. He was released on a promise to appear in court pending arraignment in Superior Court on Aug. 22.

Police said in February a 79-year-old local woman hired Krawitz, who had previously represented her granddaughter in another civil case, to bring a lawsuit on her behalf in a motor vehicle crash case. While Krawitz is a registered lawyer in New York he is not licensed to practice here, police said.

Police said Krawitz subsequently settled the woman’s case for $100,000. But when nine months passed and the woman had not yet received any money her family contacted Krawitz who sent the woman a check for $10,000, police said.

Over the next few months police said Krawitz would send the woman checks for $5,000 and other smaller amounts. They said a couple of the checks bounced because of insufficient funds in Krawitz’s account.

Police said the woman eventually got her money minus $32,735.25 which Krawitz claimed was his fee.

Daniel Tepfer