In Chicago, Illinois, the Chicago Tribune
- Philip Igoe, 61, promised clients facing foreclosure that he could help them by filing bankruptcy petitions or through loan modifications with lenders, according to the U.S. attorney's office. He then collected funds from clients by falsely representing that he would use the money to make payments on their mortgages or for Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan payments.
- Instead, he used all or most of the money for his own benefit, the indictment charged. He was charged with one count of mail fraud, six counts of bankruptcy fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. Igoe's wife, Stacy, 45, also an attorney, also was indicted in connection with a part of the scheme.(1)
- This is not the first time Igoe's actions as an attorney have been questioned. In 2002, a federal judge granted a new sentencing hearing to a Death Row inmate, saying Igoe did almost nothing during sentencing to save his client's life.
- And in 1989 he was censured by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission after it was alleged he took a $45,000 payment from a private attorney in return for resigning from his job at the Illinois secretary of state's office so someone else could take it.(2)
Source: Foreclosure attorney indicted for cheating clients.
For the indictment, see U.S. v. Igoe.
For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Attorney Indicted for Defrauding Clients Seeking Help Saving Their Homes From Foreclosure.
(1) An excerpt from the U.S. Attorney press release:
- With respect to Stacy Igoe, the indictment alleges that she filed a bankruptcy petition on behalf of one client without the client’s consent or authorization, in an effort to make it appear that Philip Igoe had done work to justify the payment of at least $17,500. The indictment also alleges that Stacy Igoe lied under oath at two bankruptcy proceedings when asked about whether she had authorization to file this bankruptcy on the behalf of the client and about when the bankruptcy petition was prepared. Also alleged is that Philip Igoe and Stacy Igoe filed a false document in this bankruptcy case reflecting that the client had completed a credit counseling course, when he had not.
(2) If the charges are proven true, and the victimized homeowners can't recover any of their money from the attorney on account of the alleged ripoff, they might consider filing a claim with the Client Protection Program of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which was established by the Supreme Court of Illinois to provide reimbursement to eligible clients who have lost money or property because of dishonest conduct by lawyers admitted to practice law in the State of Illinois. The Program reimburses eligible clients who cannot get reimbursement from the lawyers who caused their losses, or from other sources such as insurance.
According to its website, the Program may reimburse losses up to a maximum of $75,000 for each loss, and payouts arising from the conduct of any one lawyer shall not exceed $750,000.
For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that cover the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.