Former Portland Attorney Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Client Funds
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore.—A former Portland attorney pleaded guilty today to multiple felony charges after perpetrating a scheme to defraud her clients and use the proceeds to pay for personal expenses.
Lori E. Deveny, 56, pleaded guilty to mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return.
According to court documents, between April 2011 and May 2019, Deveny systematically stole 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 used the proceeds of her scheme 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.
On May 7, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a 24-count indictment charging Deveny with mail, bank, and wire fraud; aggravated identity theft; money laundering; and filing a false tax return.
Deveny will be sentenced on November 23, 2022, before U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Mosman.
As part of her plea agreement, Deveny has also agreed to pay restitution in full to her victims as determined by the government and ordered by the court.
Mail and wire fraud are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years. All three offenses carry maximum fines of $250,000 or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense and three years’ supervised release. Bank fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and five years’ supervised release. Filing a false tax return is punishable by up to three years in prison, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gains or losses resulting from the offense, and one year of supervised released. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by up to two years in prison running consecutive to any other carceral sentence imposed.
U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
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.
Updated June 27, 2022