Former Nevada Lawyer Lawrence Davidson Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Money Laundering and Supervised Release Violation
Las Vegas, Nev. – A former Las Vegas lawyer who was convicted in 2005 of forging a federal judge's signature and was charged the next year with defrauding his legal clients and stealing their personal injury settlement monies, pleaded guilty today to several felony offenses, pursuant to a binding plea agreement that consolidates his cases and calls for a sentence of over eight years in prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Lawrence J. Davidson, 45, currently in federal custody, pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt to the charges stated in three separate cases. In Case No. 2:05-CR-439, Davidson pleaded guilty to 20 counts of mail fraud and four counts of money laundering. In Case No. 2:08-CR-162, Davidson pleaded guilty to making a false statement in an application for a passport, aggravated identity theft, and two counts of willfully failing to appear at court hearings, including trial. And, in Case No. 2:04-CR-457, Davidson pleaded guilty to violating his supervised release by failing to notify the probation office of a change of address.
The binding plea agreement states that Davidson should be sentenced to 105 months in prison (about 8½ years) and pay $932,802 in restitution. Because the plea agreement is binding, Davidson would be free to withdraw his guilty plea if the sentencing judge seeks to impose a different sentence. Judge Hunt set Davidson's sentencing for September 3, 2012, at 9:30 a.m.
In today's plea agreement, Davidson admitted that he used another person's identity to obtain a United States passport in 2004. In June 2005, Davidson was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of supervised release for forging a federal judge's signature in a federal bankruptcy case. Davidson started his supervised release on February 27, 2006, and on September 14, 2006, Davidson quit his job, and moved out of his apartment and fled to Israel to avoid prosecution on the case involving theft of his clients' settlement monies. The next month, in October 2006, Davidson was charged with mail fraud and money laundering for negotiating personal injury and medical malpractice settlements from May 2003 to September 2004 without the authorization of his clients, and using the settlement monies for his own personal benefit. Davidson, who was in Israel, then failed to appear at a required federal court calendar call hearing in the case on October 25, 2006, and also failed to appear at trial on October 30, 2006. The plea agreement states that Davidson defrauded at least 14 clients of over $930,000.
The case was investigated by the FBI, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel R. Schiess.