Criminal Justice

Once-missing lawyer pleads guilty to bank fraud

A South Florida lawyer who disappeared amid allegations of missing trust account money has pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud after turning himself in.

Timothy McCabe, 55, entered the plea on Thursday, report the Sun Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post Real Time blog. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 9.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Cohen told the judge the exact amount of misappropriated money is still unknown, but it is at least $2.5 million and could be as high as $7 million, the Sun Sentinel says. McCabe was accused of misappropriating mortgage money from 20 separate closings.

Prosecutors say McCabe used the money to pay overhead costs at his law firm and title company, and to pay off personal expenses and loans. Prior reports alleged McCabe paid off a $386,000 mortgage on his home and deeded the property to his wife shortly before his disappearance.

McCabe’s wife and three daughters were not in the courtroom on Thursday, the Sun Sentinel says.

McCabe disappeared in April after sending emails to his wife and business associates apologizing for some “very bad business decisions.” He turned himself in on June 20, a day after the FBI said he was wanted. McCabe’s lawyer, Robert Gershman, said he couldn’t yet answer questions about where McCabe was during those months.

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