Attorney Under Investigation After Closing Practice But Not Cases

The law office of Tampa attorney Dennis Szafran has closed unexpectedly, and his former customers are now saying the crook has stolen money from them.

After her grandmother Janice Abdou passed away from cancer, Leah Abdou contacted attorney Szafran. Janice Abdou did not have a will, and Leah required a probate attorney to save the house.

Leah had receipts of payment to Szafran totaling about $3,000, although she claims to have paid him closer to $7,000. The news that Szafran had shuttered his firm while Leah’s pending lawsuit shocked the 25-year-old. His callous actions have led to Leah’s family losing her childhood home due to the costs incurred during probate. She no longer has enough money to continue carrying the house while the outcome is up in the air.

After receiving many complaints from disgruntled former customers, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office officially began inquiring about Szafran. Many of them, like Leah, require a probate attorney to aid them with the settlement of their loved ones’ estates. The mother of a disabled 18-year-old son hired the attorney, according to reports last week.

According to interviews with families, his fee is usually between $3,000 and $4,000. Some customers have asked for refunds, but he stated he would not provide them.

Angia Papazion, another mother, said she found out last week that DJS Law Group had closed down.

A separate inquiry into Szafran has been opened by the Florida Bar. A Facebook group of former customers has attracted at least 30 people.

According to public records checks, Szafran filed for bankruptcy in New Jersey in 2010. As of October 30, he has not done so in Florida. However, he bought a new home in Tampa in September, and public records show he paid $737,500 for it.

Szafran’s old customers discovered him last week on TikTok, where he presents himself as a motivational speaker and Navy veteran. Two videos he uploaded discussing his achievements and setbacks have also been removed.