LAS VEGAS, NV — A longtime estate lawyer Robert Graham admitted in District Court on Thursday, September 7, to stealing more than $16 million from his clients, most of whom depended on financially on trust funds he supervised. Graham regulates wills, probate and other subjects related to the distribution of a deceased person’s estate.
Graham, 52-year-old, who is in custody at the Clark County Detention Center on $5 million bail out fee, pleaded guilty before the District Judge Kerry Earley to a couple of felony counts of theft and three counts of exploitation of an older and vulnerable person. The estate attorney is facing a prison term of 16 to 40 years at his January 11 sentencing.
“He’s a despicable predatory thief, plain and simple,” The District Attorney Steve Wolfson said after the hearing. “He’s going to serve more time in prison than some murderers. As much justice as we could deliver was delivered today.”
“I’m guilty of these charges, your honor,” Graham claimed before the District Court judge.
His legal representative, Deputy Public Defender Bryan Cox, added: “It’s been a very difficult case, especially for the victims and the victims’ families.”
In the courtroom, the Chief Deputy District Attorney J. P. Raman, the lead prosecutor in the lawsuit case, read aloud the names of more than 110 clienteles who deserve a share of the $16 million in return prosecutors will seek against the accused.
The money was embezzled between the stretch of 2011 and 2016, Raman said in the court papers.
The thefts — which ranged from as small-scale of $20 to more than $1 million — took placed in 64 estate cases, 21 trust funds, 10 guardianship cases, and four special needs trusts, the court papers reads.
In interviews with the Centrio News after his formal charge earlier this year, his former clients described their angers with Graham as they fought to get him to turn over their moneys in the years and final months before the accused closed his law practice.
Graham secretly amassed an average of $187,000 per month in client funds over the several years to a secret bank account to run his law practice and pay personal bills.
Moreover, Graham used client funds to pay $244,000 in his taxes and $700,000 a year to run advertisement for his law office. Additionally, he also used the money to make thousands of dollars more in charitable donations to numerous non-profit organizations, including the Church of the Latter Day Saints and Boys Town of Nevada, the testimony reads.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Bar Counsel Janeen Isaacsonhas since asked the State of Nevada Supreme Court to permanently disbar Graham.