Feds seek help capturing disbarred Iowa attorney

IOWA CITY – Disbarred Iowa lawyer Dennis Bjorklund is infamous for running from regulators, employees and clients, but he now faces his biggest challenge yet: eluding the FBI.

Investigators sought the public’s help Friday in apprehending Bjorklund, who has been a fugitive since being indicted on mail and tax fraud charges 2 years ago.

At prosecutors’ request, a judge Wednesday unsealed Bjorklund’s 2010 indictment, in which he is accused of duping clients into donating to a phony charity he controlled and drastically underreporting his income to avoid paying taxes. That move allowed the FBI on Friday to add Bjorklund to its list of criminals wanted for white-collar crimes and publicize his photograph, which will soon be seen on billboards.

FBI spokeswoman Sandy Breualt said Bjorklund hasn’t been seen at his last known address in Coralville or at a relative’s house in Wisconsin since his indictment. She said he is most likely traveling with his longtime girlfriend, Rochelle Theroux, who is not a fugitive and also has ties to Wisconsin. Bjorklund is most likely using one of the three vehicles with Iowa plates: a 2003 beige Chevy Malibu (548RWA), a 2006 red Chevy Silverado pickup (188RWD) or a 2004 blue Chevy Cavalier (033TAH), she said.

Bjorklund, 48, once made handsome profits at his Coralville law firm by aggressively – and falsely – marketing himself as the nation’s leading defense lawyer for drunken driving offenses. He’s considered a poster boy for unethical legal practices, and his antics remain notorious years after he vanished. The Iowa Supreme Court disbarred Bjorklund in 2006 – only after he tried for years to thwart its disciplinary investigators at every turn.