Ex-Portland attorney pleads guilty to embezzling client funds | USAO-OR
PORTLAND, Ore.—A former Portland attorney pleaded guilty today to multiple felony charges after she carried out a scheme to defraud her clients and use the proceeds to pay for personal expenses.
Lori E. Deveny, 56, pleaded guilty to mail, bank and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and file a false tax return.
According to court documents, between April 2011 and May 2019, Deveny systematically stole funds she held in trust for her clients. The funds came from insurance claims due and payable to its customers. Deveny is accused of forging client signatures on settlement documents she sent to various insurance companies, conducting unauthorized fund transfers to personal accounts and falsely telling clients that insurance companies were responsible for delays in settling claims. Many Deveny customers never received the insurance payment they were owed.
Deveny used the proceeds from his scheme to pay for personal credit card and loan payments, numerous big game hunting trips to Africa and resulting taxidermy fees, other vacations, the photography business husband, home renovations, expensive cigars, and other expenses associated with a lavish lifestyle.
On May 7, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 24-count indictment charging Deveny with mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and file a false tax return.
Deveny will be sentenced on November 23, 2022 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.
As part of his plea deal, Deveny also agreed to make full restitution to his victims, as determined by the government and ordered by the court.
Mail and wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years. All three offenses are punishable by fines of up to $250,000 or double the gross gains or losses from the offense and three years’ probation. Bank fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a fine of $1 million and five years of probation. Filing a false tax return is punishable by up to three years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or double the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense and one year of parole monitored. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment following any other custodial sentence imposed.
U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI and is being prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Oregon.