Defense lawyer Brian Bloomfield spent just three days of a three-month sentence behind bars for his leading role in a scheme to defraud the court system, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.
To the dismay of investigators and prosecutors, Bloomfield was released from the Clark County Detention Center on Friday and put on house arrest for the remainder of the sentence.
“He went through the normal process, applied for house arrest, and it was granted,” his lawyer William Terry said Tuesday.
Terry suggested Bloomfield’s cooperation against his co-defendants in the courthouse fraud may have played a role, as well as his standing as a defense lawyer.
“He’s vulnerable,” Terry said. “A lot of people in custody don’t like lawyers.”
Las Vegas police Capt. William Teel, who oversees the house arrest program for the detention center, said Bloomfield’s release was part of the jail’s efforts to reduce its crowded population. Every inmate is reviewed for house arrest, he said.
Bloomfield, 40, pleaded guilty to providing clients, mostly prostitutes, with phony certificates of completion for court-ordered counseling and community service to resolve misdemeanor cases. His license to practice law was temporarily suspended after he admitted that he filed or helped file forged records in 91 cases.
Chief District Attorney Marc DiGiacomo, who had sought up to four years in prison for Bloomfield, wasn’t happy with the attorney’s release.
“I believe Mr. Bloomfield deserved to go to prison and I believe he should spend his time in the Clark County Detention Center, but obviously the court disagreed with me,” DiGiacomo said. “The jail has procedures in place to reduce its population, which is beyond my control.”
On March 7, District Judge Jessie Walsh ordered Bloomfield to serve the 90 days at the detention center and placed him on five years probation. Within hours, he was released on house arrest and then hours later taken back into custody, only to be released again on house arrest Friday.
While on house arrest, Teel said, Bloomfield will be on electronic monitoring and will have a daily 6 p.m. curfew. He has 30 minutes to get to work at a telemarketing company and 30 minutes to get home. He also must submit to random drug and alcohol tests and can go grocery shopping once a week.
At his sentencing, Walsh appeared swayed by Bloomfield, who apologized for his actions and talked about the support he had gotten from his many friends in the district attorney’s office, including District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
Bloomfield said he ran into Wolfson a couple of months ago at a restaurant across from the courthouse and Wolfson told him, “You’ll be all right. I know what kind of person you are.” Wolfson declined to comment on the conversation.
Last month, Walsh ordered a lesser defendant in the scheme, Steven Brox, 50, to serve two to five years in prison for his forgery guilty plea. Brox’s former company, United States Justice Associates, was used in the scheme.
Bloomfield received a lighter sentence despite new allegations from DiGiacomo that he lied under oath before a State Bar of Nevada panel considering action against him over his guilty plea for forgery.
DiGiacomo said in court that Bloomfield was not a credible witness for prosecutors because of his lies.
He also accused Bloomfield of trying to disrupt the forgery investigation of another lawyer, Vicki Greco, who was indicted by a county grand jury in December on 139 felony and gross misdemeanor counts in a similar courthouse fraud.
Bloomfield, who denied the latest allegations from DiGiacomo, is waiting to hear whether the Nevada Supreme Court will accept a five-year suspension recommended by the bar disciplinary panel in the forgery case or impose a tougher punishment.
Contact Jeff German at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-8135. Find him on Twitter: @JGermanRJ