White-Collar Crime

Disbarred lawyer gets 40 years for embezzling $1.2M from child's guardianship fund

A former Mississippi lawyer has been sentenced to 40 years in prison, with 10 years suspended, after being found guilty Thursday of embezzling $1.2 million from the guardianship account of a minor child of a deceased civil rights leader.

Michael J. Brown placed in the money in his own escrow account, rather than the court-ordered guardianship account, and filed fraudulent paperwork with the Hinds County Chancery Court that showed the money was properly expended on the minor’s behalf, the Clarion Ledger reports.

WJTV also has a story about the conviction in the Rankin County case.

The Mississippi Supreme Court disbarred Brown in an opinion (PDF) issued last year.

“There is no greater trust than that between a lawyer and his client,” said District Attorney Michael Guess. “Brown was an officer of the court, whose sole purpose was to protect the interest of the minor child. Brown broke that trust and he trampled on the interest of the child in the name of greed.”

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

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Judge Jails Attorney for Contempt, Says He Must Ante Up and Account for $3M in Guardianship Funds”

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