Former Portland Attorney Charged with Embezzling Client Funds
PORTLAND, Ore.—A 24-count indictment was unsealed in federal court today charging former Portland attorney Lori E. Deveny, 53, with mail, wire and bank fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering and both filing false tax returns and failing to file tax returns as part of a scheme to defraud her clients and use the proceeds to pay for personal expenses.
According to the indictment, between April 2011 and May 2019, Deveny is alleged to have systematically stolen funds she held in trust for her clients. The funds were derived from insurance proceeds due and payable to her clients. Deveny is accused of forging client signatures on settlement documents she sent to various insurance companies, making unauthorized transfers of funds to personal accounts and falsely telling clients that the insurance companies were to blame for delays in settling claims. Many of Deveny’s clients never received the insurance payout they were owed.
Deveny is also alleged to have used stolen funds to pay for personal credit card and loan payments, numerous big game hunting trips to Africa and the resulting taxidermy costs, other vacations, her husband’s photography business, home remodeling, expensive cigars and other expenses associated with a lavish lifestyle.
Deveny was released pending trial. A 7-day jury trial is scheduled for July 16, 2019 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.
This case was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI and is being prosecuted by Claire M. Fay, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.