A Kansas lawyer is facing multiple federal charges after admitting to the FBI that he used his client’s trust fund as a slush fund for his own personal gambling stash, which totaled nearly $1 million.
Larry Toomey, who is 70, has been practicing law in Wichita for nearly 45 years. He has been charged by the FBI with five felony charges, including theft, mistreatment of a dependent adult, and mistreatment of an elderly person, as well as mismanagement of funds. There is also a move by the Kansas Bar Association to have him disbarred.
The FBI said the expenditures made by the lawyer against his client’s trust account occurred from October 2011 to December 2014. Toomey’s client is elderly – she is 103 – and has dementia. He has been the lawyer for her and her late husband since the 1990s. The family had set up a trust fund after her husband died so that she would be cared for.
The list of expenditures given by the FBI accounts for nearly $962,000 of the client’s money spent by Toomey in three years. Of that amount, nearly $396,000 was for gambling alone, and $100,000 of that was for one casino, the Kansas Star.
Toomey noted that he has had a gambling problem for many years and has sought treatment in the past for his addiction.
Other expenses included retail and shopping, payments on loans, lawn service, utilities, purchases of furniture, and house repairs, including landscaping and roofing. There was also money drawn on his client’s account for jewelry, auto repairs, payments on credit cards, and shooting at a gun range. He also bought some cars, including a Mercedes, a Jaguar, and a Porsche. The total of the three cars was $104,000.
The money also went to property taxes on Toomey’s Wichita home, as well as rental payments on an apartment for one of his family members.
The Attorney’s Rebuttal
Before he was interviewed by the FBI, Toomey had only made deposits into the client’s account totaling $5,200 for the three years in question. After the FBI interviewed him, Toomey deposited $120,000 in his client’s account and presented supposed affidavits in his client’s name that stated she owed him more than $200,000 in legal fees. He also told the FBI that because his client was in poor mental and physical health, she had given him medical and durable powers of attorney.
Toomey said that his client had given him more than a half-million dollars to spend as he saw fit. It was an expression of gratitude for all that he had done for her over the years, he said. Toomey said she authorized him to use the money for gaming. He stated that all of the winnings he earned went back into her bank accounts.
However, the FBI noted that there was a beneficiary to the estate, who lives in Oklahoma. The provisions of the trust fund state that the beneficiary was to receive statements from Toomey that demonstrated how much the lawyer had spent on behalf of his client every six months. However, the beneficiary stated she had not received any updates on the trust fund since 2009. The FBI said that there may have been other expenditures between 2009 and 2011, but the agency was unable to trace them at the time of the charges.
It is possible additional charges may be pending if the FBI can find enough evidence to charge Toomey.
Toomey faces up to 25 years to life in prison. But, it is unlikely he will serve that much time, given his age.
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