A Covington, KY attorney recently plead guilty to fraud in connection to accepting fees for work he never performed. Patrick Moeves, who had been forbidden from practicing law in Ohio in 2008, worked out a plea with the Kenton (KY) Circuit Court, where he would plead guilty to fraud and forgery charges in return for consecutive sentences of 4, 2, and 2 years.
Investigations begun last year when a woman alleged that she paid Moeves $62,000 dollars for a lawsuit that was never actually filed. After the first arrest, two more victims came forward with allegations that they had paid Moeves for services not rendered. One case dealt with money that was paid and could not be accounted for upon reaching settlement, and the second charge involved a client who paid Moeves to provide restitution to the court, which the court never received. In December, Moeves was removed as the co-executor of an estate after the other co-executor, a state senator, alleged that Moeves forged his name on a document, allowing the land to be sold to Moeves’ cousin for half of its taxable value. The State’s attorney, Rob Sanders says that because the forgery will be admitted in court, the land sale should be considered void.
Sanders agreed to plea the case out because he was confident that Moeves will ultimately serve more than 5 years in prison. He said, “I think the court, as does the Commonwealth, understands that we have to be able to trust attorneys,” continuing, “Contrary to what many people think, a license to practice law is not a license to steal. To maintain the public’s trust in the system it’s important that anyone with a law license that violates that trust goes to prison.”