Oct 05, 2007

Another Reason to Do Your Own Last Will

wqp8_cvr.gif A Memphis estate lawyer, apparently dissatisfied with his hourly compensation, dipped into several estate funds and ripped off his law firm, as well. The take: a few million in cash and some artwork.

How did the scheme work? First, the attorney assures the family there’s “nothing to worry about." Second, he siphons money from client’s accounts, trusts and estates. Third, he diverts attorney’s fees from the law firm’s general fund and escrow account. Fourth, he has fun, pays off personal credit card debts, and purchases lots of artwork.

How much can you make? This attorney drained one estate of at least 1.5 million and reportedly embezzled lots more from at least 11 other clients.

Mitigating factors? The attorney's on-the-stand explanation of the events—“I was a bad actor.” Wait ... if he scammed over 1.5 million as an attorney, doesn't that make him a great actor?

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