Criminal Justice

Office manager accused of stealing over $100K in client payments


Updated: An office manager for a small Florida law firm is accused of stealing over $100,000 in cash receipts from clients that she was supposed to deposit in the unidentified Sebring firm’s trust account but allegedly didn’t.

Kathryn Barnes Avirett, 38, was questioned several months ago by the lawyer for whom she worked, when the trust fund showed a negative balance, the Tampa Tribune reports. Avirett promised to correct what she then described as a bookkeeping error, but later admitted stealing about $111,000 from the firm, an affidavit for a warrant says.

Although the Tribune doesn’t identify the attorney for whom Avirett worked, the News Sun says she was employed by the law offices of Alison B. Copley in Sebring.

Avirett was arrested in late June and charged with grand theft, a scheme to defraud involving $50,000 or more and making false entries in corporate books.

The articles don’t include any comment from the defendant or her legal counsel.

Related coverage:

Paralegal who bilked clients and got boss disbarred is sentenced to 27 months (June 2014)

Former Vedder Price office manager, three vendors are accused in alleged $7M embezzlement (June 2014)

Law clerk of 28 years diverted $3M from real estate lawyer, authorities say (May 2013)

Bad coffee leads to embezzlement case against law firm worker (Feb. 2013)

Updated on July 30 to include information from News Sun.

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