Posted Oct 07, 2010 08:54 pm CDT
A 61-year-old lawyer facing a first-degree murder charge in a fatal identity theft scam allegedly orchestrated by a client admittedly impersonated the victim, in order to help the perpetrators gain access to his assets.
But attorney David Replogle did so only because his client, Kaushal Niroula, 28, threatened his mother and partner, Replogle’s lawyer, John Patrick Dolan, told a California jury during opening arguments today, reports the Desert Sun.
Replogle, who has a history of representing victims of international tourists in child sexual abuse cases, had a successful San Francisco law practice. He had no advance knowledge of the murder plot, Dolan said, and believed he was negotiating a settlement on Niroula’s behalf with the victim, Clifford Lambert, 74.
Deputy District Attorney Lisa DiMaria contended in her opening statement in the Riverside Superior Court trial that Replogle was one of the masterminds of a plot to kill and steal from Lambert.
Niroula and two other defendants also are to be tried in the case and a fifth man has taken a plea bargain and is expected to testify in the trial of Replogle and one of the co-defendants.
Replogle met Niroula through an ex-client for whom he had won a multimillion-dollar settlement in a sex abuse case nearly a decade ago. As an earlier ABAJournal.com post notes, however, District Attorney Rod Pacheco contends that settlement was based on fraudulent allegations.