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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 10, 2022

Fayette County Attorney Charged With Defrauding Clients

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that John William “JW” Eddy, age 39, of Fayette County, Pennsylvania was charged by criminal information with one count of wire fraud for misappropriating funds from clients of his law practice between 2016 and 2020.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, the information alleges that Eddy was required to maintain a trust account for client funds, also known as an Interest on Lawyer Trust Account or “IOLTA.” This account was to be used for the securing of client funds, such as proceeds from legal settlements, fees advanced for services not yet performed, or money for court fees. The information alleges that Eddy misappropriated $242,975.89 of client funds during this time-period.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ravi Romel Sharma is prosecuting the case.

Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for wire fraud is 20 years’ imprisonment. This charge may also carry a fine and a term of supervised release following imprisonment. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated January 10, 2022