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White-Collar Crime

Indicted lawyer used client to impersonate his own mother in $100K loan fraud, authorities say

Posted Mar 13, 2014 4:53 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Arrested last week as he flew into New York from Istanbul, a 39-year-old suspended Missouri lawyer was charged with bank fraud and identity theft in a federal indictment that was unsealed after his apprehension.

Authorities said at the time that Jeffrey Witt had gotten a female client to impersonate a homeowner in order to take out a $100,000 line of credit under the homeowner's name without her knowledge. Now it turns out that the allegedly defrauded homeowner was Witt's own mother, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Attorney Mike McKitrick represents the bank that issued the line of credit. He said the loan transaction was canceled as soon as the bank was notified of the fraud, and Witt's mother will not be required to repay the $60,000 he took out against the credit line, the newspaper reports.

McKitrick said the female client who impersonated Witt's mother had the woman's real driver's license as one of two forms of identification provided to bank employees. The FBI is looking at bank surveillance video to try to identify the client, McKitrick said.

A press release by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri provides additional information about the case.

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