Criminal Justice

Former Paul Ewing paralegal pleads not guilty to embezzling more than $600K

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Pile of money

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A former paralegal at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr in Chicago has pleaded not guilty to allegations that she embezzled more than $600,000 while working on bankruptcy matters at the law firm.

Becky Louise Sutton, 66, of Austin, Texas, pleaded not guilty to three counts of wire fraud and three counts of embezzlement from the estate of a debtor. Law360 and Reuters have coverage while a Justice Department press release on the charges is here.

Sutton formerly lived in Park Forest, Ill.

Prosecutors allege Sutton transferred bankruptcy funds intended for creditors to accounts she controlled. The scheme allegedly took place from about 2009 through June 2018.

The government is seeking forfeiture of about $611,000 from Sutton. The indictment alleges she caused or attempted to cause losses of nearly $683,000 from fiduciary bank accounts associated with bankruptcy estates.

Prosecutors say Sutton transferred funds to her personal bank account, credit card account, student loan account, mortgage account and a PayPal account she created.

The indictment doesn’t name Sutton’s law firm, but Law360 and Reuters identify it as Saul Ewing.

A spokesperson for Saul Ewing told Law360 that the firm cooperated with law enforcement “and ensured that any impacted client did not suffer any losses.”

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