A Bucks County lawyer has been indicted for allegedly stealing more than $1.7 million from a client.
Randolph Scott, 70, of Doylestown,, was charged by indictment with defrauding a client’s estate of more than $1.7 million, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Scott maintained a law office – Randolph Scott Associates – in Warrington. He is charged with one count of mail fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of tax evasion, one count of attempting to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws and three counts of failure to file income tax returns.
According to the indictment, between December 2005 and October 2011, while representing the estate of John C. Bready, Scott diverted approximately $1,758,193 of estate funds to his law office accounts.
Because the estate was valued at more than $6 million at the time of Bready’s death in 2005, federal law required that a federal estate tax return be filed which would have resulted in approximately $520,351 being paid to the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Department of Justice.
The indictment alleges that Scott purposefully failed to file the required form in order to maintain sufficient money in the estate to pay its beneficiaries and to avoid detection of the theft.
The indictment further alleges that after the estate’s executor died in 2009, Scott failed to disclose the death so that the investment account manager would continue to send the executor’s checks to Scott’s law firm. Scott would then allegedly forge the executor’s signature and deposit the checks into his law firm’s account. It is further alleged that Scott has the successor executor sign a document renouncing the position of successor executor so that Scott could continue to forge the signature of the deceased executor and divert money belonging to the estate. In addition to the charges, the indictment contains a notice of forfeiture seeking $1,758,193.
If convicted of all charges, Scott faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed on the mail fraud count, resulting in 31 years maximum incarceration, possible restitution to the IRS in the amount of $520,351, possible restitution to the estate in the amount of $1,758,193, three years of supervised release, a $1.4million fine, and a $500 special assessment.