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Suge Knight's Ex-Lawyer Busted Depositing Stolen Checks

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By George Khoury, Esq. on October 03, 2018 3:51 PM

For those lawyers out there dreaming of landing that celebrity client to help their practices take off, the following is a cautionary tale. Sometimes chasing and serving celebrities can land a lawyer in a whole lot of trouble.

Suge Knight's former attorney was recently arrested on bank fraud charges. He is alleged to have deposited 21 U.S. Treasury checks from tax refunds, totaling over $1 million in various client trust accounts. Unfortunately though, those checks were deemed stolen, though he isn't alleged to have done the stealing.

Check-gate

For the former mogul's attorney, these charges could spell certain licensure doom (not to mention potential jail time -- up to 30 years). While one bank associate explained that the attorney claimed the checks were endorsed to him by his own clients, when the individuals named on the check were asked, they stated that they hadn't received their tax refunds, and were unaware of who the attorney even was.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, although the lawyer isn't facing any theft charges, it is believed that the checks were stolen from the mail. Additionally, while the grand total of all the checks he deposited tallied up to $1.3 million, one check was for over $1 million, and as you might expect, that check caught the eye of the bank's employee accepting the deposit.

In Trust Accounts We Trust

For Knight's former attorney, or any attorney for that matter, this purported scam seems beyond credulity. He was depositing paper checks into his own client trust accounts. Which, frankly, just seems odd that an attorney, or just anyone with a rudimentary understanding of how a paper trail, evidence, and checks work, would even attempt such a base scheme.

Notably, this same attorney is also awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy for allegedly attempting to pay off a witness in Suge Knight's hit-n-run trial.

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