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Judge sets high bail for Oradell lawyer in $1.1M thefts from clients

Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Oradell attorney who once claimed to represent Eddie Murphy and various professional football players was ordered held on $700,000 bail this morning on charges of stealing more than $1.1 million from his clients — including $600,000 from his brother.

Louis Capazzi (STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

Louis Capazzi, who lives in Harrington Park, was placed on Temporary Disability Inactive list by the state two weeks ago following what authorities said were 40 or so victim complaints.

A prosecutor requested $200,000 bail for Capazzi, who was arrested at his home today, but Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi tacked on another half-million.

“Because the thefts involved so many people, he may be a flight risk,” she said. “Everything he had is now in jeopardy, so I’m going to increase the bail to $700,000.”

Capazzi shook his head “no” from side to side while the judge spoke.

She noted that he might have access to significant amounts of money and said there were “indications” that he had transferred properties or funds to his wife.

Should he make bail — with no 10% option — Capazzi would have to prove that he obtained the money legally, DeAvila-Silebi said.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said Capazzi “took legal fees from numerous clients without performing the legal services….These legal services included bankruptcy, loan modifications, immigration work and family matters.”

Capazzi has made bold claims as part of his advertising. He boasted celebrity clients and the “lowest fees in the geographical area.”

Last year he produced this video:

“This is an ongoing investigation,” Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Brian Lynch noted, as he stood in the Hackensack courtroom beside Bill Pulzello, a detective from his office, earlier today.

“We are investigating money laundering and possibly mortgage fraud,” Lynch told the judge. “He has been arrested twice before by this detective.”

The thefts include $600,000 that Capazzi is accused of taking from his brother, he said.

Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Brian Lynch, BCPO Detective Bill Pulzello, Louis Capazzi (STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

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