Saturday, December 31, 2016

Vegas Attorney Goes AWOL, Abruptly Shutting Down Office w/ Eviction Looming, Firing Employees, Abandoning Files As Questions Surround Upwards Of $10 Million In Missing Trust Account Cash Belonging To Dozens Of Clients

In Las Vegas, Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports:
  • Longtime probate attorney Robert Graham has stolen millions of dollars in client funds and abruptly abandoned his law practice, the State Bar of Nevada alleges in a complaint.

    The state bar says it learned Graham shut down his firm Dec. 2, firing employees and leaving behind client files.

    An initial bar analysis of Graham’s accounting records shows that the firm should be holding more than $13 million in funds for his clients, Assistant Bar Counsel Janeen Isaacson said in the complaint.

    “However, based on information provided to date, the balances of these accounts total much less than the more than $13 million respondent should be safekeeping for these clients,” Isaacson wrote.(1)
    ***
    Graham was well-known for advertising his probate and estate law practice on television. He kept other law offices in Utah and Colorado. Additional efforts to reach Graham and his wife Linda, who is also a lawyer, were unsuccessful.

    Graham abandoned his clients’ files in rented office space from which his eviction appears to be imminent and made no arrangements for his clients’ continued representation,” the bar said in a Clark County district court filing earlier this week.

    Late Friday, the Nevada Supreme Court, saying Graham “poses a substantial threat” of professional harm to the public, temporarily suspended his license while the state bar conducts disciplinary proceedings.

    The bar complaint alleges Graham — a Brigham Young University law graduate and a member of the Nevada bar since 1992 — “misappropriated millions of dollars from his current and former trust, probate and estate clients.”(2)

    In its complaint, the state bar said Graham had “routinely and consistently” failed to distribute funds being held for clients and lied to them about the status of their funds.
Source: Las Vegas attorney disappears with millions in client funds, State Bar alleges.

See also, Pair of lawyers pick up the pieces after local attorney abandoned hundreds of clients.
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(1) See Nevada State Bar says local attorney misappropriated millions:
  • In investigating Graham’s financial condition, the Bar says Graham should have been holding more than $13 million in trust for 51 clients. The complaint says Graham’s bank, City National, said the balance was actually “in the low six figures” and that Graham had misrepresented his finances.
(2) The Clients’ Security Fund of The State Bar of Nevada was established to (at least partially) 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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