Archive for the ‘Attorney charged’ Category

Lawyer charged with theft, fraud in conservatorship cases

November 13, 2013

A longtime Nashville attorney has been jailed on charges of aggravated perjury, theft and TennCare fraud stemming from his care of three people, two of them elderly and one severely disabled, that the state said couldn’t care for themselves.

John E. Clemmons, 66, turned himself in on the charges Friday. Bail was set at $500,000, and a hearing on the charges, along with an anticipated plea deal, is expected as early as next week.

Using a cane and accompanied by one of his attorneys, Clemmons, who had been entrusted by the courts to manage the three conservatorships, walked slowly through the metal detector in the night court building a little after 1 p.m.and was taken into custody.

According to court filings Clemmons was charged with three counts theft of more than $60,000, one count of aggravated perjury and Tenncare fraud.

Court records and interviews show that more than $1 million in assets from the three wards is unaccounted for and much of it has been tracked back to Clemmons himself. In one case, a civil suit already has been filed seeking restitution of $450,000.

In that case, records show, Clemmons submitted periodic reports to the court on the handling of the ward’s estate that contradicted the actual bank and checking account records. Checks he reported making out to health care workers and other service providers, for example, ended up in his own bank account.

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Lawyer charged with theft, fraud in conservatorship cases

Jury convicts disbarred northern Indiana lawyer of forging other attorneys’ names on documents

October 4, 2013

MISHAWAKA, Indiana — Jurors have convicted a disbarred northern Indiana attorney of forging the names of other lawyers on court documents.

The St. Joseph County jury returned guilty verdicts Wednesday against 47-year-old Rod Sniadecki on three felony counts of forgery.

The South Bend Tribune reports ( ) Sniadecki’s former legal assistant testified she forged the signatures and faked information in a tax return to secure a mortgage on his South Bend office.

Defense attorney Len Zappia argued the assistant did so without Sniadecki’s knowledge to keep the office running while he was gone.

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended Sniadecki in 2007 for starting a relationship with a woman whose divorce he was handling and lying about it. He was disbarred in 2010 for the forgery case.

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Jury convicts disbarred northern Indiana lawyer of forging other attorneys’ names on documents

Former Upper Arlington Attorney Charged For Allegedly Forging Guardianship Documents, Stealing From Retirement Fund

August 28, 2013

A former attorney is charged with theft, forgery, tampering with records and money laundering.

According to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, Lindsey T. Burt, 33, was indicted Tuesday in connection with stealing from the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

The prosecutor’s office said that Burt was supposed to file paperwork for a client which would make the client the guardian of his son after the mother passed away.

Burt allegedly altered documents, making it that she was the guardian, and then she allegedly sent paperwork to OPERS to collect death benefits intended for the child.

The alleged theft from OPERS was during a five-year period and totaled $67,183.03.

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Former Upper Arlington Attorney Charged For Allegedly Forging Guardianship Documents, Stealing From Retirement Fund

Former CFO, lawyer plead in St. Louis pre-arranged funeral fraud case

July 16, 2013

ST. LOUIS • Two more defendants involved in what prosecutors have called a “Ponzi-like” pre-arranged funeral scam that could cost $600 million pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges.
The former chief financial officer of National Prearranged Services, Randall K. Sutton, 67, of Chesterfield, pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and insurance fraud.

A few hours later, the company’s former lawyer, Howard A. Wittner, 76, of Chesterfield, pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements intended to deceive insurance regulators, and to willfully permitting a felon to engage in the insurance business.

Wittner admitted lying to state regulators and concealing the source of money used to buy a medical malpractice insurer. The third count refers to former owner, James “Doug” Cassity, a convicted felon.
Under the plea deal with prosecutors, Sutton faces up to seven years in prison, and Wittner faces up to five years when sentenced Nov. 7.

The pleas leave one remaining defendant, former investment adviser David R.

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Former CFO, lawyer plead in St. Louis pre-arranged funeral fraud case

Civil and criminal penalties sought against Beaumont attorney

July 2, 2013

Beaumont attorney Alto Watson III is facing both criminal charges for burglary and possible disbarment for stealing from his former firm and client.

As previously reported, the Commission for Lawyer Discipline, an arm of the State Bar of Texas,

Alto Watson III

filed a disciplinary petition against Watson on May 31 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the Beaumont Enterprise, on May 22 Watson was arrested for burglary of a habitation and family violence. He has since been indicted.

The commission’s petition says that from September 1998 through July 8, 2012, the Law Firm of

Gilbert T. Adams employed Watson. During his employment, the suit alleges Watson wrongfully billed clients separately for his services and personally accepted client funds meant for the firm, depositing the money in his personal accounts for his own use and benefit.

For example, the suit claims that on March 2, 2011, Mohd Ali hired the firm for representation in a suit styled Major League Grill Franchise vs. Azam Beaumont Enterprises. Ali agreed to pay the firm $10,000 — $5,000 of which Watson asked the client to pay directly to him. He deposited the funds into his personal account and failed to inform the firm, according to the lawsuit.

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Civil and criminal penalties sought against Beaumont attorney

New indictment accuses jailed lawyer of defrauding utility of millions

March 3, 2013

Jailed since November, when federal prosecutors accused him of a role in a claimed conspiracy to launder $600 million in Mexican drug cartel money, a once-prominent South Texas lawyer is now facing a new indictment issued Wednesday by a federal grand jury in El Paso.

Marco Delgado, 46, also known as Marco Delgado Licon, is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, accused of diverting $32 million that should have gone to a Nevada company into an offshore account he controlled in the Caribbean, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Delgado reportedly brokered a deal in which the Nevada company, FGG, was to provide turbogenerators to a Mexican state-owned utility.

Delgado allegedly used some $1.5 million from the offshore account to purchase two homes and furnishings and to make a hefty contribution to Carnegie Mellon University, where he formerly served as a trustee. The feds are now seeking forfeiture of $2.5 million in cash, notes a KBTX article about the indictment.

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New indictment accuses jailed lawyer of defrauding utility of millions

Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein gets 50-year sentence

October 29, 2012

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Scott Rothstein, the South Florida Ponzi schemer extraordinaire, received a 50-year prison sentence Wednesday after a hearing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

U.S. District Judge James Cohn, an Alabama native appointed by President George W. Bush, gave the disbarred lawyer more than what prosecutors requested for his crime as the mastermind of South Florida’s biggest financial fraud.
“I am truly and deeply sorry for what I have done,” Rothstein said, addressing the court wearing cuffs on his wrists and ankles. “I don’t expect your forgiveness.”

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Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein gets 50-year sentence

Former court-appointed guardian charged with Grand Larceny

October 4, 2012

A trial is scheduled to begin on September 18, 2012, for attorney Raymond Alfred Jones, who has been charged by the Kings County District Attorney’s Office with Grand Larceny in the 2nd degree. Mr. Jones will be represented by defense attorney Anthony Ricco. The trial will be presided over by Judge John Walsh. The charge against Mr. Jones arises from his alleged mishandling and ultimate breach of his fiduciary duties as the court-appointed guardian and trustee of the estate of various incapacitated persons.

In 2011, in two separate cases, Matter of Jones 2011 NY slip Op 50501(U) and Matter of Josephine R., 2011 NY Slip OP 51046(U), Mr. Jones was found to have abused his role as fiduciary. In Matter of Jones, Mr. Jones served as the court appointed trustee and guardian for Mr. Roy L., an incapacitated person who was born with devastating bodily deformities and received a lump sum net settlement of $684,700.00 in a wrongful life lawsuit. Mr. Jones also served as legal counsel to Mr. Roy L. and his mother, Ms. Elaine DeJesus. During his role as guardian, Mr. Jones offered to purchase, on behalf of his ward, a home located at 1079 Sterling Place and retrofit the home to accommodate the ward’s disabilities. The home, in alleged disrepair, was owned by a business associate of Mr. Jones. In 2009, Mr. Jones purchased 1079 Sterling Place from his business associate for the purchase price of $111,00.00 (approximately $36,000.00 more than Mr. Jones previously attested the home was worth) and hired his associate to renovate the home for $121,800.00. According to court documents, Mr. Jones did not seek prior court approval to purchase or renovate 1079 Sterling Place. Mr. Jones did, however, receive court approval approximately nineteen months after the purchase of the home. During the renovation, Mr. Jones convinced his ward and Ms. DeJesus to rent the basement apartment of his business associate in the interim. The guardianship order and judgment for Mr. Roy L. limited monthly rent contributions to $300.00. The rent paid to Mr. Jones‘ associate for a basement apartment was $1,200.00 per month, in excess of the ward’s allotted rental contribution and was paid exclusively from the ward’s estate. Approximately two years after the renovations began, the ward and Ms. DeJesus were allowed to move into 1079 Sterling Place. The renovations, however, were never fully completed under Mr. Jones‘ tenure as guardian. In 2004, Mr. Jones was removed as guardian/trustee for Mr. Roy L.

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Former court-appointed guardian charged with Grand Larceny

Kim Rothstein, Wife Of Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein, Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Money Laundering

September 7, 2012

MIAMI — The wife of imprisoned Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein was charged Thursday with money laundering conspiracy and other charges for allegedly concealing more than $1 million in jewelry from federal investigators and later attempting to sell some of it.

Prosecutors filed the charges against Kim Rothstein, 38, and four other people. Attorneys for Kim Rothstein said in a statement she takes “full responsibility” for her actions but insisted she did not know about her husband’s $1.2 billion scam.

“Kim welcomes the opportunity to put a very challenging time in her life behind her,” the statement said. “Kim is a vibrant, diverse and deeply caring person who looks forward to being a productive citizen in the years to come.”

She faces up to five years in federal prison on charges of money laundering, obstruction of justice and witness tampering conspiracy. The type of charging document used by prosecutors typically means that a defendant intends to plead guilty.

Scott Rothstein, once a high-flying attorney in Fort Lauderdale, is serving a 50-year prison sentence for fraud involving investments in fake legal settlements. Shortly after the scheme unraveled in fall 2009, investigators went to the Rothsteins’ residence to seize jewelry, watches and other items purchased with money from the scheme.

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Kim Rothstein, Wife Of Ponzi Schemer Scott Rothstein, Charged With Conspiracy To Commit Money Laundering

Jail for Texas lawyer charged with funds misuse

September 5, 2012

SAN ANTONIO—A South Texas lawyer arrested again for drunken driving has been jailed pending trial on charges she embezzled from her grandmother.

The San Antonio Express-News ( reports Michelle Lorenz Valicek faces trial next month on a felony charge of misapplication of fiduciary property.

Valicek was indicted in 2009 on charges she spent more than $500,000 of an inheritance meant for her grandmother, Margaret Lorenz. The 97-year-old woman died last year.

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Jail for Texas lawyer charged with funds misuse