Saturday, December 10, 2016

Disbarred Vegas Attorney Gets Up To Seven Years For Glomming Onto Over $140K Held in Her Client Trust Account; Ex-Law Partner Among Victims, Says Defendant Left Him With Temporarily Destroyed Reputation

In Las Vegas, Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
  • Disbarred Las Vegas attorney Jeanne Winkler was sentenced [] to up to seven years in prison for stealing more than $140,000 from her former clients.

    Winkler, 48, wept as she pleaded with District Judge Richard Scotti, who said he had “no doubt greed played a significant role” in her crime.

    She must serve at least 2½ years behind bars before she is eligible for parole, the judge said. “There has to be consequences commensurate with the amount of harm you’ve inflicted,” he said, adding that Winkler must pay about $143,000 in restitution.

    The judge allowed Winkler a week to spend time with family in Tonopah before she surrenders. The defendant pleaded guilty in May to theft.

    Chief Deputy District Attorney Jay Raman said Winkler stole from several clients, including Juanita Thompson, who told the judge that she lost roughly $70,000 entrusted with Winkler in a 2008 divorce proceeding. Thompson said she wanted to spit in Winkler’s face and called her “pure evil.”

    One of Winkler’s former law partners, Louis Schneider, wrote in a letter to the judge that Winkler had stolen $10,000 from him, stolen his clients’ money and temporarily destroyed his reputation.

    Last year, a federal judge ordered Winkler to pay a share of $47,000 in restitution and serve 100 hours of community service for her role in a scheme to take over and defraud Las Vegas-area homeowners associations.

    Winkler lost her Nevada law license in November 2011 over allegations she misappropriated about $233,000 from her client trust account. She was arrested in 2011 on state theft and embezzlement charges.
Source: Former Las Vegas lawyer gets prison time for stealing from clients.
(1) The State Bar of Nevada established the Clients’ Security Fund in 1970 to compensate victims of lawyer theft.

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that attempt to clean up 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.

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