St. Louis Lawyer Admits Faking Legal Documents for At Least 30 Clients
ST. LOUIS – A lawyer from St. Louis, Missouri on Thursday admitted faking legal documents and forging judges’ signatures in cases involving at least 30 clients.
Andrew Gavin Wynne, 35, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk to five felony counts of identity theft.
Wynne admitted that while representing at least 30 clients, he created fictitious documents with forged signatures of judicial officers in St. Louis and St. Louis and St. Charles counties. Included among those were bogus court orders, judgments and emails authored by at least ten separate judges, Wynne’s plea agreement says, some of which purportedly awarded money to his clients.
In one example in the plea agreement, Wynne sent an email to a client on Feb. 28, 2020 that included a fictitious judgment and decree of dissolution with a forged judge’s signature. That divorce decree said Wynne’s client's marriage was dissolved and the parties would have joint legal and physical custody of the minor children. The decree also said the client was owed $900 per month child support, $5,000, a vehicle and other assets.
On July 21, 2020, Wynne emailed another client an order with a forged judge’s signature that claimed $20,200 in payments were owed to that client.
On both occasions, Wynne told his clients not to discuss the documents that he’d sent.
Wynne admitted that his crimes caused a loss of between $250,000 and $550,000.
On Oct. 27, 2021, the Missouri Supreme Court suspended Wynne’s law license after the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel said there was probable cause to believe he posed “a substantial threat of irreparable harm to the public” due to misconduct. He was indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Feb. 9, 2022.
Wynne is scheduled to be sentenced June 1. The charge carries a potential penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 million fine or both.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek Wiseman and Kyle Bateman are prosecuting the case.