Joshua Janis racked up hefty credit card bills, spending thousands of dollars on strip club visits, pornography, and a girlfriend -- and charging those expenses to his ex-wife, authorities said.
Janis, 38, of Downingtown, was charged with felony counts of identity theft, forgery, theft, and other crimes, the Chester County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
He already had been accused of defrauding dozens of law clients by collecting legal fees and doing little to no work on their cases. After his arrest on those charges in July, Janis’ law license was suspended, and he and wife Jennifer Hulnick divorced. But soon after that, authorities said, Hulnick realized she, too, had been a victim. Janis had created several accounts under her name for his unauthorized spending, authorities said.
In all, Janis set up accounts with nine companies using Hulnick’s personal information, including her Social Security number, according to court documents. For each of the accounts, Janis listed his cell phone number or email as the primary contact, so Hulnick would not find out, the documents show. To the various accounts, Janis billed strip club charges, pornography, and purchases related to an extramarital affair, as well as business expenses.
After Janis and Hulnick divorced, she began to receive bills from accounts she did not recognize. So Hulnick ran her credit report and discovered that Janis had opened accounts in her name and used them to make large purchases, authorities said. On a Bank of America account, for example, Janis ran up more than $20,000 in expenses, they said.
Hulnick alerted police, prompting further investigation.
Janis was arrested on these new charges on Tuesday. Unable to post bail, he was being held at the Chester County Correctional Facility, awaiting a preliminary hearing set for Dec. 19.
Janis' attorney in the initial case, Thomas Schindler, was not immediately available for comment.
Based on the findings of the investigation so far, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan said he urges anyone who had contact with Janis to check whether they were defrauded by him. Hogan asked anyone with information to contact county detectives at 610-344-6866.