Las Vegas attorney Bradley Bellisario faces harassment charges again
Lawyer Bradley Bellisario has been charged with stalking his ex-wife – twice.
He is accused of telling another man that his cartel clients would give him a “Colombian bow tie”.
He is accused of threatening a female prosecutor.
But it’s allegations that the Las Vegas personal injury lawyer cheated clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars that could cost him his attorney’s license.
Bellisario – who is represented by Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s son, Ross Goodman – has been arrested at least five times on multiple counts and filed so many lawsuits that two separate district court judges declared him a “vexatious litigant.” “.
A Nevada State Bar investigation also found that more than $260,000 in client funds had been misappropriated since 2019, leaving Bellisario clients without suitable product and in medical debt.
Bellisario was temporarily suspended in June. Earlier this month, the bar filed a recommendation for disbarment in the state’s highest court, which is expected to rule on it later this year.
“Bellisario posed a substantial threat of serious harm to the public,” Daniel Hooge, the state bar’s chief attorney for attorney discipline, told the Review-Journal in a written statement. “The State Bar investigation found that Bellisario misappropriated client funds.”
The state bar is also investigating Bellisario for three other cases not yet made public, Hooge said.
Bellisario declined to comment for this story, and Goodman did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
At a hearing in November, Goodman told District Judge Crystal Eller that his client suffered permanent and collateral consequences.
“He no longer practices law, his children have been taken away from him – he can no longer be in their lives,” Goodman said. “He’s still defending the first case against his ex-wife, and now he has this new case.”
A volatile divorce case
Bellisario, 36, earned his Nevada law degree in December 2014 and owned the law firm Bellisario, where he practiced personal injury, divorce and medical malpractice law.
After he and his ex-wife, Emily Cardona, separated in 2019, he started having his own legal issues.
What followed was a cascade of arrests, prosecutions and court protection orders.
On September 16, 2019, Bellisario allegedly broke into Cardona’s home and destroyed several televisions, furniture and light fixtures, according to a report from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Cardona told officers her then-husband kicked down her bedroom door, grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her against their baby’s crib in front of their 4-year-old son.
Bellisario was arrested the next day and faced charges of home invasion, harassment and assault.
Bellisario was placed on probation for 90 days for the battery charge, according to Las Vegas court records. He took counseling and performed 24 hours of community service.
Once the conditions were met, the whole case was dismissed, as part of negotiations with the prosecutors.
On June 22, 2020, Cardona reported to police that Bellisario came to her home and smashed her Ford F-150 into two cars, the garage door and a lamppost, according to court records.
At the time, she was at the park with their three young children.
“We’re like running to the car because I thought any moment he might show up at the park and kill me there,” she testified, according to grand jury transcripts.
She took the children to her father’s house, where they stayed while Cardona’s father defended them with a shotgun against Bellisario, who showed up at the door of the house, according to the transcripts.
In connection with this event, Bellisario was charged with malicious destruction of property and criminal harassment of Cardona between January 1, 2020 and July 26, 2020.
He pleaded not guilty and the case continued until the end of the year.
The couple’s divorce was finalized in December and Cardona was granted sole custody of the children. Through his attorney, Amanda Roberts, Cardona declined to comment for this story. Roberts also declined to comment.
Bellisario filed several lawsuits against those involved in her divorce and criminal proceedings, including a Clark County prosecutor, Cardona, her attorneys and others, accusing them of defrauding the court.
A police report says that on July 30, he emailed Assistant District Attorney Brianna Lamanna and asked her to settle $100,000 with him.
“Given the county’s refusal to assist me when I contacted police, prosecutors, etc. and your insistence on perpetuating my ex’s lies that you know to be false, I will aggressively pursue this case against you,” a writes Bellisario, in part. . “I am awaiting your response. Good luck with your little one.
He was charged with one count of sending a threatening letter for making reference to his child and pleaded not guilty, according to court records. Lamanna is no longer pursuing her harassment case.
After numerous civil cases were filed, judges ordered her not to bring any further lawsuits against those involved in her criminal and divorce case without a lawyer and court permission.
In October, Bellisario was again accused of harassment, this time by a friend of his ex-girlfriend. After the woman ended her relationship with Bellisario, he began to believe Jason Elleman and the woman had been having an affair, according to a Metro police report.
Elleman told police that wasn’t true, but he was still harassed by text messages and phone calls from Bellisario, who called him 28 times in two hours.
The police report cites a text message that reads, “I’m a lawyer with drug dealing clients who I’ve told it’s not my problem. Enjoy the Colombian bow tie (expletive). You will not survive.
A “Colombian necktie” is a form of mutilation in which the victim’s tongue is pulled through a slit in the throat, police said.
The harassment continued after Bellisario left numerous negative reviews on Elleman’s work Yelp page from 2016, the report said. He is also accused of creating fake social media profiles to contact Elleman and publicly posting her home address.
Bellisario pleaded not guilty to the harassment charge.
At the November court hearing, Goodman defended his client in what he called alcohol-induced rants.
“There was no affirmative action,” he said. “It’s someone behind a keyboard who’s pissed off, texting.”
Elleman obtained a temporary protective order against Bellisario, who pleaded not guilty in the case.
“I don’t trust anyone anymore,” Elleman told the Review-Journal. “I’m just constantly worried and paranoid. I want to regain the right to have a normal life.
Misuse of client funds
Another client, Stacie Klein, said she hired Bellisario in 2016 after the death of her brother, Jaceson Klein.
She filed a lawsuit with the Nevada Bar stating that Bellisario stopped attending court hearings and failed to return her brother’s belongings, including a valuable ring and a Range Rover. She estimates she lost nearly $30,000.
“There are no words for this. It’s a nightmare. It’s mentally exhausting,” she told the Review-Journal.
Bellisario denied any wrongdoing.
The Nevada State Bar investigation found that dozens of Bellisario customers were short on money — and they still owe thousands of medical bills that were supposed to be paid through their settlement.
Within a week, $56,000 from Bellisario’s client trust fund was deposited into his personal account, according to the findings.
In 2020, his client Christine Heath won a $125,000 settlement after a car accident, the documents show. Personally, Heath received $32,000.
But instead of paying his medical bills following the accident, Bellisario gave himself significantly more attorney fees and paid off a personal loan, the bar association’s investigation found.
In a hearing on October 27, Heath testified before the state bar that she still faced debts and collectors.
“He told me several times that he sent them the check, he doesn’t know why they didn’t,” she testified. “It was then that he told me that he would provide me with the information. But he never did and then he went MIA.
In July 2020, Bellisario received $65,000 to settle the personal injury claims of Minervo-Felipe Aguilar, his father and brother. The three received a total of $14,348, but Bellisario never paid their medical bills and stopped responding to them, according to bar records.
In April 2020, Bellisario received $25,000 to settle client Andrew DeJong’s personal injury claims. He did not disburse the proceeds or communicate with his client regarding the settlement, the state bar found.
A recommendation for disbarment was filed Jan. 4, and the Nevada Supreme Court is expected to rule on it within six months.
Bellisario never responded to repeated correspondence from the bar about his investigation, records show. He did, however, send an email on April 5 regarding his dues, according to the documents.
“I have no desire to be part of an organization that refuses to protect its own members from the crimes perpetrated by other members of this organization,” he wrote.
The Nevada Secretary of State’s website shows that his company has been dissolved.