Tulsa Probate Attorney Charged For Embezzling $587,000 From Multiple Estate Accounts
TULSA, Okla.—A Tulsa County probate attorney made his initial appearance today in U.S. District Court on charges stemming from his embezzling $587,000 from probate estate accounts he controlled. United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr. of the Northern District of Oklahoma and Special Agent in Charge R. Damon Rowe of the IRS-CI’s Dallas Office announced the criminal charges at a news conference held this morning.
Christopher Ivor Mansfield, 38, was charged with one count each of bank fraud and money laundering before United States District Magistrate Judge Paul Cleary.
“Mr. Mansfield chose to violate and abuse his position of trust as a probate attorney. As a result, he embezzled $587,030 from eleven probate estates or guardianships,” said U.S. Attorney Williams.
At the time of the alleged crimes, Mansfield was a licensed attorney in the State of Oklahoma who was court-appointed in probate cases. He served as a personal representative in probate cases and was responsible for overseeing the financial affairs of multiple probate estates.
According to court documents, it is alleged that, from August 2012 to October 2015, Mansfield knowingly executed and attempted to execute a scheme to obtain money or property entrusted to the Bank of Oklahoma by means of fraudulent pretenses. It is further alleged that Mansfield fraudulently diverted estate assets from various estate accounts using unauthorized checks made payable to himself; unauthorized transfers of funds from the estates; and the unauthorized depositing of checks into his business and personal accounts.
Mansfield used the stolen money on personal expenses, mainly American Express credit card purchases and to support his drug habit.
At the time of sentencing, Mansfield will face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for the bank fraud charge and a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the unlawful monetary transaction charge. In addition, he will face a restitution order and a criminal forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $587,030.
The case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles McLoughlin and Catherine Depew.