Former Memphis Attorney Charged in Scheme to Defraud Clients
Memphis, TN – A federal grand jury returned an indictment against Memphis attorney Michael Constantine Skouteris, 49. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced today.
The seven-count indictment alleges that between 2011 and January 2016, Skouteris engaged in a scheme to defraud his clients by settling cases without notifying his clients and forging their endorsements on the settlement checks made jointly payable to him and the client. Skouteris would then deposit the checks into bank accounts he maintained at Suntrust Bank and First Tennessee Bank. According to the indictment, Skouteris fraudulently obtained in excess of $600,000 during the course of the scheme.
Skouteris faces a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment, a fine of $1,000,000 and five years supervised release as to each count.
U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "Licensed attorneys who steal from their clients betray the trust of that fiduciary relationship, and are a threat to the public. This indictment exposes that breach of trust, and will hopefully achieve justice by recovering restitution for the victims and reminding the legal community of the high standards of their profession."
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Carroll L. André III is prosecuting this case on the government’s behalf.