LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. – A South Florida attorney found himself needing an attorney ahead of Broward County deputies arresting him on an extortion charge Thursday.
That’s because authorities allege he used inside information he had on a neighbor’s legal woes in an ill-fated attempt to get her to resign from the board of his Lauderdale-by-the-Sea condominium building, promising to tarnish her reputation if she didn’t.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies booked David A. Weintraub, a licensed attorney who works out of Plantation and specializes in stockbroker litigation, into the BSO Main Jail on Thursday after filing an arrest warrant earlier in the week.
According to a probable cause affidavit written in July, Weintraub, 63, began the “smear” campaign soon after his neighbor was elected to the board of the Hampton Beach Club condominiums, located at 1800 S. Ocean Blvd., back in January.
The affidavit states Weintraub, admitted to the Florida Bar in October 1984, had provided the woman legal advice “as a friend and neighbor” after she was arrested in 2020, communications she assumed would be “confidential.”
However, after her election, deputies said he began a campaign to remove her from office and confronted her, promising to “embarrass her and make her life hell” if she didn’t resign.
The affidavit states that Weintraub began pulling public records and videos related to the woman’s arrest and shared them with other condo board members in an attempt to get them to oust her.
“When this did not work, he circulated the video and report to several other residents in order to get them to vote against her in a (recall) petition,” BSO Deputy Benya Koos wrote in the report. “She has never resigned and a (recall petition) was never submitted by (Weintraub).”
Multiple witnesses reported seeing either the arrest report or video distributed by Weintraub, the affidavit states.
Koos wrote in July that Weintraub declined to speak with investigators retained an attorney.
Weintraub was released on a $5,000 bond Friday. His attorney, in a statement to Local 10 News Friday afternoon, promised to fight what he described as “unjust” charges.
“David Weintraub is a pillar in South Florida. He embodies an unwavering commitment to our community by giving back to the legal needs of children and against the exploitation and abuse of the elderly. David has worked countless hours as an attorney for 39 Years with an impeccable record. We look forward to representing him on these charges which clearly are unjust!"Dave Kubiliun, Weintraub's attorney
A spokesperson for the Florida Bar said Monday morning that the association has opened an investigation into Weintraub.
Under the organization’s rules, a felony conviction typically results in the automatic suspension of an attorney’s law license. They additionally state that the Bar “may initiate disciplinary action regardless of whether the respondent has been tried, acquitted, or convicted in a court for an alleged criminal misdemeanor or felony offense.”
The rules note that a respondent’s acquittal does not necessarily preclude discipline.