Criminal Justice

Lawyer Accused of Theft Plot Now Charged with Murder

A San Francisco lawyer charged earlier this month with helping forge documents in a scheme to obtain the assets of a missing man has now been accused of murder.

Lawyer David Replogle was charged along with three other men in the murder of 74-year-old Cliff Lambert of Palm Springs, a retired art dealer, the Desert Sun reports. Prosecutors plan to file charges against a fifth suspect at his court date later this week.

Authorities say the group stole $210,000 from Lambert’s bank accounts, made charges on his credit cards and tried to acquire his $1 million home for about $300,000, according to the Daily Journal (sub. req.). The home sale wasn’t completed after Lambert’s personal lawyer, Martina Kang Ravicz, saw grant deeds transferring the property.

District Attorney Rod Pacheco says members of the group have been involved in other fraud schemes, according to the Daily Journal. In a previous case, Replogle represented Daniel Carlos Garcia in a sexual molestation case and obtained a $10 million settlement. The case was allegedly based on false allegations, the story says.

“These con men have skillfully manipulated their way through millions of illegally obtained dollars and have managed to avoid consequences until now,” Pacheco said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Cliff Lambert isn’t the first victim of their ongoing scams to enrich themselves, but we plan on making sure he is the last.”

Besides Garcia and Replogle, those already charged are Kaushal Niroula and art consultant Russell Herbert Manning, the Desert Sun says. The fifth suspect who will be charged this week is Miguel Adolfo DeLeon Bustamante, according to the story.

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