Thursday, November 13, 2014

Illinois Lawyer Sentenced To 9 Years For Embezzling $1.2 Million From Clients

From the Chicago Tribune on 11/13/14:

A Crystal Lake attorney wept Wednesday as he apologized to families from whom he stole $1.2 million before a judge sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Curt Rehberg, 50, of Cary, pleaded guilty in September to multiple counts of theft and was ordered Wednesday to pay his victims back.

"I want you to know how incredibly sorry I am," Rehberg said in the McHenry County courtroom, which was packed with his victims. "You trusted me ... we were friends ... you couldn't have seen it coming. There is no security system to protect you from what I did."

Rehberg said he felt ashamed for stealing from his clients. He thought he would be able to pay back the money, but said, "I could not pay it back, and when you asked, I lied, I drank ... I hoped for a miracle, but that miracle never came."

Addressing the impact his crimes had on his own family, Rehberg said his children will have to live with people calling their father "a scumbag lawyer who stole from his clients."

Many victims said they had met Rehberg through relatives and had always trusted him. Rehberg had helped many of them with family legal matters for more than 20 years.

In many cases, the money Rehberg stole had come from settlements, wills or trusts that were placed in accounts that he controlled. When beneficiaries tried to collect money due to them, it was gone. Authorities have said Rehberg used clients' money to pay for business or personal expenses.
One such fund for more than $525,000 was earmarked for St. Jude's Children's Hospital.


Read the rest of the story here.

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