White-Collar Crime

Jury convicts lawyer of 30 fraud counts over SSI payments to his wife, who worked at his law office

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A federal jury convicted a Tennessee lawyer on Monday of 30 fraud counts related to what prosecutors said was a scheme by attorney Everett Mechem, 57, to claim his wife was disabled and collect Supplemental Security Income benefits on her behalf.

Meanwhile, she worked at his Kingsport law office as a paralegal and office manager, prosecutors said, and, although the couple claimed to be living separately, they purchased a home together in 2012 and shared profits from his law practice, according to the Rogersville Review and WJHL.

A Tuesday news release by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Tennessee provides more details about the Greeneville case. It doesn’t given an amount, but says the payments at issue wee made between January 2009 and July 2013.

In addition to the 30 fraud counts, Mechem also was convicted of two false statement counts and one theft count. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

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