Sunday, June 06, 2010

Ex-Lawyer Gets 18 Months For Ripping Off Client Facing Foreclosure Seeking Bankruptcy Help

In Billings, Montana, the Billings Gazette reports:
  • A former lawyer who admitted stealing money from his bankruptcy clients will be going to federal prison for a year and a half. Marvin Earl “Toby’’ Alback, 62, of Billings, offered little explanation during his sentencing hearing [] for why he stole about $17,000 from two clients for his personal use.(1)


  • In the bankruptcy fraud, Alback was hired by a family in March 2008 to represent them in a bankruptcy case. When the family had trouble making their mortgage payment, Alback told them to write their settlement and mortgage payments to him and he would deposit the money with the bank. Alback deposited the money into his trust account and never made the mortgage payments. Although he eventually paid back the money, he caused significant back payments and late fees to avoid foreclosure, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Archer.

For the story, see Ex-lawyer gets prison in fraud.

For the U.S. Attorney (Billings, MT) press release, see Marvin Earl Alback Sentenced In U.S. District Court.

(1) Reportedly, the federal case was the second time Alback has been convicted of misappropriating clients’ funds. In the late 1980s, Alback was convicted in state court of felony theft for taking more than $95,000 from two clients and was sentenced to 16 years in state prison, with 13 years suspended, the story states. He was disbarred, then was reinstated in 2000, and has permanently resigned his license in September, according to the story. The state conviction was reportedly too old to count against him for sentencing in the federal case.