White-Collar Crime

Former attorney and radio host gets nearly 6 years in $2.3M client-theft case

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Calling an investment scheme by a now-disbarred Illinois lawyer akin to “taking it to the track and putting it all on some long shot,” a federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday sentenced ex-attorney Kathleen Niew to nearly six years in prison for fraud.

While still in practice and known for hosting a real estate and probate law radio talk show on WIND, prosecutors were able to prove that Niew stole some $2.3 million from a suburban couple and wired the money to international mining investors. She was seeking to earn hefty commissions, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Niew apologized in court, but U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber said the position of trust she enjoyed as an attorney required significant time and gave her five years and 10 months.

Prosecutors had sought a 10-year prison term.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Client suit says attorney radio host took $2.3 million and charged $20K more in legal fees”

ABAJournal.com: “Disbarred lawyer, a onetime radio host, takes blind plea in $2.3M client fraud case”

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