Lawyer Indicted in Theft of $2.4 Million From Client's Estate

, The Legal Intelligencer



According to the indictment, Scott prohibited his staff, as well as J.D., from seeing account statements from the Bready estate investment account.

The indictment said Scott also attempted to cover up the theft by continuing to make the $50,000 annual payments to each beneficiary.

In order to maintain enough money to make those payments while diverting estate funds to his law firm's accounts, the indictment alleged, Scott failed to file an IRS Form 706, which would have required the payment of about $520,000 in federal estate taxes.

The indictment alleged that Scott misled J.D. into believing no taxes were due because the Bready will included a charitable donation to Penn State.

J.D. died in April 2009, according to the indictment, but Scott failed to disclose the death to the Bready estate's account manager in order to continue receiving checks payable to the estate.

According to the indictment, Scott would forge J.D.'s signature on the checks and then deposit them into his firm's accounts.

In July 2010, Bready paid the successor executor of the account — referred to as R.B. — $5,000 to sign a document renouncing the position of successor executor, the indictment alleged.

Scott, however, did not file the document with the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas and instead continued to receive and forge checks, as well as to divert other funds from the estate to his law firm accounts.

However, upon learning in October 2011 that he was under investigation by the IRS, Scott had R.B. appointed successor executor in an attempt to cover up the funds he had diverted as well as his failure to pay the estate taxes, the indictment said.

The indictment includes a notice of forfeiture for nearly $1.8 million.

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  • Paula Shank

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