Disbarred Attorney With Gambling Habit Admits Role in Bogus $2m Philadelphia Eagles Loan Scheme

  • Frank Tobolsky loaned money to Eagles season-ticket holders who owned seat licenses
  • His personal use of ill-gotten funds included “gambling at various casinos”
  • The former attorney could face up to 20 years in prison on wire fraud charges
  • Tobolsky got disbarred in New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2018
  • His introduction to gambling reportedly began with a trip to a racetrack at age six
male in suit hiding wads of dollar bills in his jacket
A gambling-addicted, disbarred lawyer has admitted that he stole nearly $2m in a Philadelphia Eagles-linked fraud scheme. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Fraudulent loans to season-ticket holders

Disbarred attorney Frank N. Tobolsky, 59, has admitted to stealing nearly $2m via a fraud scheme claiming to bankroll loans to Philadelphia Eagles season-ticket holders.

The US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey (USAO NJ) took to Twitter on October 4 to share Tobolsky’s admission:

According to Acting US Attorney Rachael A. Honig, Tobolsky pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. The Camden County, New Jersey native entered his plea before US District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court.

A USAO NJ news release stated that the funds Tobolsky raised from a victim came from an investment supposedly intended to loan money to the Philadelphia-based National Football League (NFL) franchise’s season-ticket holders who owned seat licenses.

withdrawing cash for gambling at various casinos”

An April 2021 indictment filed by the US District Court District of New Jersey said the ill-gained funds were for Tobolsky’s personal use, “including withdrawing cash for gambling at various casinos.”

Potential 20-year prison term

The Department of Justice (DOJ) news release stated that the victim, from Delaware, sent Tobolsky about $2.4m supposedly to fund loans for Eagles season-ticket holders, believing it was an investment opportunity. Tobolsky instead used a “substantial portion” of the $2.4m on personal expenses.  

The April 2021 indictment stated that the gross amount of over $2.4m was “spread over approximately 78 payments between November 2013 through May 2016.”

In pleading guilty to wire fraud, the disbarred attorney could face up to 20 years in prison, which is the maximum penalty. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000, “or twice the gross loss to any victim or gain to Tobolsky, whichever is greatest.” 

The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that Tobolsky’s lawyer, federal defender Lisa Lewis, “could not be reached for comment.” February 10, 2022 is the date set for Tobolsky’s sentencing.

Repeat offenses

Tobolsky has gotten into hot water over the Eagles on another occasion. in February 2018, New Jersey State Police (NJSP) posted on Facebook that they had arrested Tobolsky for a “theft scam”.

According to the NJSP, Tobolsky posted an online advertisement selling an Eagles Stadium Builder License. He later deposited the proceeds of the sale into his account at the Golden Nugget Casino. State authorities in Atlantic County later charged the ex-attorney, who entered a pre-trial diversionary program.

Another member of the legal profession, former Pennsylvania judge Michael Cabry III, in October 2020 also made news for the wrong reasons. He was charged with using $4,000 from his campaign finance account to feed a six-figure gambling habit at various casinos.

Also in 2018, the Supreme Court of New Jersey disbarred Tobolsky, this time for stealing $32,500 from a client’s escrow account to bankroll his gambling habit. Disbarring in Pennsylvania followed suit later that year.

Gambling issues

A decision by the Disciplinary Review Board of the Supreme Court of New Jersey ahead of the 2018 disbarring outlined in great detail Tobolsky’s struggles with gambling.

his introduction to gambling began at the age of six with a trip to a racetrack with his dad

The decision referred to the then-attorney’s testimony that his introduction to gambling began at the age of six with a trip to a racetrack with his dad. It also mentioned his assertion that he was a compulsive gambler. The lawyer said he also suffered from depression and anxiety, all causing him to be “literally … ‘out of [his] mind.’”

The review board also cited Tobolsky as stating that, at age nine or ten, his father introduced him to football pools. The losses he made each week resulted in “an awful feeling,” which the decision said Tobolsky later recognized as depression.