Sunday, June 04, 2017

Bond Set At $400K For Lawyer Pinched On 14 Felony Counts Alleging He Fleeced $435K From Clients' Family Trust For Which He Acted As Trustee; Prosecutor Seeks Forfeiture Of Two Homes, Two Vehicles, Law Practice

In Bowling Green, Ohio, The Toledo Blade reports:
  • A local lawyer entered not guilty pleas today [May 23] in Wood County Common Pleas Court where he is charged with 14 felony offenses alleging he stole more than $400,000 from a client.

    Robert Searfoss III, 40, of Perrysburg was named in a secret indictment handed up by a Wood County grand jury last week charging him with two counts of aggravated theft, four counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, four counts of money laundering, three counts of theft, and one count of grand theft.

    Judge Alan Mayberry set bond at $500,000.

    The indictment alleges that between April, 2015 and April, 2017, Mr. Searfoss stole approximately $435,000 from Eric Walker and the Alice C. Walker Revocable Trust, for which he was the trustee. He allegedly used the stolen funds to make payments on a home equity loan of credit associated with real estate he owns on Georgetown Drive in Bowling Green.

    The indictment includes numerous forfeiture specifications that seek forfeiture of the Georgetown Drive property as well as a home on Shawnee Drive in Perrysburg, his law practice on Oak Street in Bowling Green, and two vehicles.
Source: Local lawyer pleads not guilty to 14 felony offenses (Robert Searfoss III is accused of stealing more than $400K from a client).
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(1) In Ohio, the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection is an agency of the Supreme Court of Ohio created to reimburse victims of attorney theft, embezzlement or misappropriation. The Board of Commissioners of the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection determines which claims are eligible for reimbursement. After the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection staff investigates the claims, they are submitted to the Board for a determination of eligibility.

The maximum award amount is $75,000 per client. Clients who believe they have sustained financial losses resulting from theft, embezzlement or misappropriation by an Ohio attorney should contact the fund at 614.387.9390 or toll free in Ohio at 1.800.231.1680.

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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