Criminal Justice

Ex-Lawyer Accused of Using Still-Open IOLTA Account to Steal From Ex-Clients

Allegedly making use of an attorney trust account that remained open for four years after he was disbarred as a Pennsylvania lawyer in 2004, former practitioner George Guyer Young III is now accused of misappropriating thousands of dollars in former client funds.

The 48-year-old suburban Philadelphia resident is charged with 20 counts of theft and receiving stolen property for allegedly obtaining more than $21,000 on behalf of former clients from the state Bureau of Unclaimed Property between 2005 and 2007, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

The money generally was deposited into Young’s Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) account, which remained open until 2008 even though he had been disbarred, according to the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case against him.

Young distributed some $9,400 to heirs of the estates he formerly represented after he was contacted by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, also returning more than $4,800 to the state at that point, the article says. Another $7,500 allegedly was never distributed or returned, and Young is accused of transferring much of the money to his personal accounts, according to the DA’s office.

Young could not be reached for comment by the legal publication and is apparently not represented by counsel.

A Philadelphia Inquirer article says he was disbarred after he pleaded guilty to mail fraud, for which he served 14 months in prison. Court documents say he stole about $109,000 from disabled veterans for whom he served as a fiduciary, the newspaper reports.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. to include information from Inquirer article.

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