Law Practice Management

As Paralegal Gets 46 Months in $1.7M Theft, 2 Law Firm Workers are Indicted in Unrelated Cases


Updated: As a paralegal was sentenced to a 46-month federal prison term this week for stealing $1.7 million from the Connecticut law firm for which she formerly worked, new indictments were also announced in unrelated cases against at least two employees of different law firms in other states.

Patricia Baddeley Meehan, 44, handled real estate closings for Berman & Russo and reportedly wrote 77 checks to herself from a client funds account. She is accused of using the money she stole from the firm to pay the personal credit card charges with which she financed her gambling and lavish lifestyle, according to the Hartford Courant.

She pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of mail fraud and filing a false tax return.

Such cases are surprisingly common, as indicated in previous ABAJournal.com posts, and new charges were announced this week against at least two other law firm employees.

In North Carolina, a Rowan County grand jury indicted Kimberly “Kim” Osborne on a charge of felony embezzlement, reports the Salisbury Post. She is accused of stealing $142,414 while working for attorney James Oxendine in 2007.

And in Oklahoma, a federal grand jury has handed down a wire fraud charge against Anna Jolene Chesnut, reports the Durant Daily Democrat.

The 62-year-old woman is accused of stealing a total of more than $110,000 from estate and trust accounts while working as a legal assistant to attorney Mark Morrison.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Partner Says Secretary Stole $900K from Personal Account”

ABAJournal.com: “Former Bookkeeper Gets 10 Years for Stealing $9M from Law Firm”

ABAJournal.com: “Bookkeeper Accused of Embezzling $1.7M from Nashville Law Firm”

ABAJournal.com: “Yet Another Law Firm Employee Is Accused in Claimed Embezzlement”

Updated at 11:45 a.m. to include information about new charges against other law firm employees.

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