White-collar crime

At first jailed for contempt, longtime lawyer is now charged in claimed client theft

Jailed in December for contempt after he could not account for money which had been placed his escrow account in a divorce case, a longtime Kentucky lawyer is now facing a criminal case in Boone County.

Sheriff’s deputies say John Arnett, 67, gambled away client funds and concealed his thefts over a 13-year period by falsifying court records and bank statements. He is charged with theft and forgery, accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple clients, according to Cincinnati.com, WKRC and WXIX.

In December, Judge Linda Bramlage of the Boone County Family Court ordered that Arnett be jailed until he disbursed $37,500 from $82,389.62 which had been placed in escrow as part of a divorce settlement. He has been in prison ever since.

Arnett, who is also licensed in Ohio, is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law.

At least eight clients were left without representation after he was jailed for contempt, the Cincinnati.com article notes.

The articles don’t include any comment from Arnett or his legal counsel.

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