Former BigLaw lawyer is accused of stealing $2M from elderly client in sham real-estate transaction
An Atlanta lawyer arraigned on Monday is accused of stealing more $2 million from an elderly client in a sham real-estate transaction.
The lawyer, Bennett Kight, formerly worked at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, according to a lawsuit filed last year. The suit claims that Kight stole from trusts he oversaw as trustee for Frances Bunzl, according to the Daily Report (sub. req.). The mail fraud indictment against Kight identifies the victim as “F.B.”
The indictment alleges Kight misappropriated the money in 2006 by purporting to sell F.B. his former home through creation of limited liability companies that were supposed to hold the title for F.B.’s benefit. No deed transferring title was ever publicly recorded, according to a press release announcing the charges. Kight publicly recorded a backdated deed in March 2011 purportedly showing the home had been owned by a Kight-owned entity since 2006.
Kight is accused of using the $2 million to pay off his mortgage and to make personal investments.
Sutherland Asbill said last year that Kight retired from the firm in 1999 and provided no legal services on the firm’s behalf to Bunzl trusts. The Daily Report consulted an ALM database, Rival Edge, which listed Kight as of counsel for the law firm until April 2012.