Criminal Justice

Lawyer stole money to pay for plastic surgery, overdue income taxes, party with Hawaiian band and more

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An Oregon attorney who pleaded guilty to stealing money from client trust accounts and her law firm, and not paying income taxes for six years, was sentenced Thursday to serve 46 months in federal prison.

Pamela S. Hediger, who had a Corvallis personal injury practice, was ordered to pay $1.9 million in restitution, $471,399 in federal income taxes and forfeit her Corvallis home, the Oregonian reports. She pleaded guilty to tax evasion and engaging in monetary transactions with property from unlawful activity, according to an Oct. 24 plea agreement letter filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.

The parties agreed that Hediger laundered about $1.2 million, and between 2011 and 2017, her unreported income was nearly $2.2 million.

Additionally, she pleaded guilty to convincing two people to invest in Oregon shopping mall projects, while pocketing the money “to support her lavish lifestyle,” according to charges filed in September. She has resigned from practice, according to the Oregon State Bar directory.

Hediger also was charged by the state of Oregon with aggravated theft, identity theft and evasion of state income taxes, according to a government sentencing memo filed Jan. 2. She’s pleading guilty to those charges Jan. 24, and any sentence imposed by the state will run concurrently with her federal sentence. She allegedly established credit cards in the names of relatives and “an unsuspecting associate,” with her and her spouse as authorized users, the sentencing memo states.

Federal court filings identify Hediger’s law firm as “V1.” The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports that she practiced with Evashevski, Elliott, Cihak & Hediger, which did not respond to an ABA Journal interview request.

According to the sentencing memo, Hediger wrote law firm checks, which were unauthorized, to pay the U.S. Treasury for overdue income taxes she owed prior to 2011. She also used stolen money to pay vendors who did construction and landscaping work on her home and pay back people who loaned her money to buy her share of the law firm. Some of the money also paid for plastic surgery, a party with a Hawaiian band and timeshare interest.

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