Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Former Oregon attorney accused of stealing money held in trust for clients

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A former Oregon attorney was arraigned last Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court on 92 counts stemming from accusations of aggravated theft, forgery and other charges after authorities say she stole money held in trust for her clients.

Earlier this month, Lori E. Deveny, 53, pleaded not guilty to a 24-count federal indictment accusing her of defrauding her clients for nearly a decade. The money came from insurance proceeds that were supposed to be paid to her clients, according to a federal indictment.

That indictment says Deveny defrauded clients from April 2011 through May 2019 by way of mail, wire and bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and the filing of false tax returns.

Deveny is accused of stealing money she held in trust for clients and using it to pay off credit card debt and loans and to support a lavish lifestyle that included numerous big game hunting trips to Africa, taxidermy costs that resulted from those trips, other vacations, her husband’s photography business, home remodeling and expensive cigars, according to investigators from the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI.

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The money came from insurance proceeds that were supposed to be paid to her clients, according to the indictment. The federal indictment says Deveny defrauded clients from April 2011 through May 2019 by way of mail, wire and bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and the filing of false tax returns.

Investigators say Deveny forged client signatures on settlement documents she sent to various insurance companies, transferred funds without authorization to personal accounts and lied to clients that the insurance companies were to blame for any delays in settling claims. Many of Deveny’s clients never received the insurance payouts they were owed.

Deveny was booked into the Multnomah County jail system Friday and released later that day.

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