Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sentencing set for Joplin lawyer who embezzled half a million from clients

Sentencing for Joplin lawyer Daniel Whitworth, 58, who pleaded guilty in March to embezzling $586,739.894 from clients, has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. September 4 in Springfield.

The crime was spelled out in court documents.

"In his capacity as an attorney, the defendant received funds from his clients for the explicit purpose of resolving legal matters. The defendant was required to deposit funds provided by his clients into his attorney trust account. The defendant's clients had authorized him to withdraw those funds to pay expenses related to or to resolve legal cases.

"The defendant maintained an attorney trust account at Mid-Missouri Bank. The defendant also maintained personal bank accounts with Southwest Missouri Bank and Commerce Bank.

"The defendant represented LP&F Trucking, Inc., who hired the defendant to settle a lawsuit with Lyddon Aero Center.

"At various times between January 2004 and October 18, 2013, the defendant took money from clients and deposited those funds into his attorney trust account, or a personal account. At various times, without the knowledge and approval of his clients, the defendant withdrew client funds from this trust account or a personal account to spend on personal expenses.

"These transactions resulted in a wire transmission between the defendant's accounts and either a client's accounts or the account of a party receiving an unauthorized payment.

"None of the defendant's clients gave the defendant authority to use any of the funds to pay his personal expenses."

According to the indictment, during an eight-day period in June 2012, Whitworth took $60,000 from LP&F Trucking, Inc.

He told the IRS he made only $40,242 in income for 2011, when he "well knew and believed, he had received additional unreported income of approximately $120,776."

Sentencing will take place at a later date.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This lawyer should've worked for R8 where misappropriating funds is a specialty. The only thing they do well.