DAVENPORT, IA – On August 11, 2017, Dennis A. Bjorklund, 52, a former attorney from Coralville, Iowa, was sentenced by United States Senior District Court Judge Robert Pratt to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to 11 counts of mail fraud, announced United States Attorney Kevin E. VanderSchel. Bjorklund was ordered to serve three years of supervised release, pay $10,000 in restitution, and pay $1,100 to the Crime Victims’ Fund. Bjorklund was originally indicted in April of 2010, and has remained in custody after being arrested in Colorado on April 16, 2015.
Bjorklund was an attorney with a law office in Coralville, Iowa. The Iowa Supreme Court revoked his law license in December of 2005. As part of his former legal practice, Bjorklund provided legal representation to multiple clients on state Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charges. Bjorklund met with OWI clients, discussed costs and provided legal advice from August of 2005 to January of 2006. As part of both written and verbal OWI discussions, Bjorklund would direct and counsel clients that in order to obtain a more favorable resolution of pending OWI charges, the clients should make a voluntary contribution to a charity named “Re-Adapt.”
Re-Adapt was an alleged substance abuse charity created by Bjorklund. Bjorklund created a scheme to defraud these OWI clients to make charitable donations under the false expectation of receiving a more favorable disposition on their criminal charges. Bjorklund irected another person to open a post office box under the name of Re-Adapt, file articles of incorporation, and opened a bank account in Wisconsin to deposit the charitable donations.
Bjorklund would then solicit charitable donations by his false and fraudulent representations to these clients that a more favorable sentence would result from a charitable contribution to Re-Adapt. These donations were then mailed to the post office box and deposited in the Wisconsin bank account. Bjorklund concealed the material fact that Re-Adapt was in fact, Bjorklund.
As a result, from August of 2005 to January of 2006, multiple victims agreed to have Bjorklund represent them on OWI charges, and as part of the agreement, donated between $100 to $500 to Re-Adapt. In August of 2006, Bjorklund caused checks written and drawn on the Wisconsin Re-Adapt bank account to be paid to McKinley Building LLC and Bjorklund Law LLC, effectively withdrawing the paid charitable donations to entities owned and controlled by Bjorklund.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division, and Coralville Police Department conducted the investigation. This case was prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.
Learn more about this release by calling Rachel J. Scherle at 515-473-9300, or by emailing her at Rachel.Scherle@usdoj.gov.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Iowa