A Chicago attorney recently plead guilty to theft in connection with overbilling a client for work he never performed. The ABA Journal reported that Mark McCombs, a former partner of Greenberg Traurig, was sentenced to six years for billing Calumet Park at $600 per hour, for work that was never done, over the course of several years. The work that was never actually performed cost the small community more than $1 million.
McCombs served as special counsel for municipal tax issues for Calumet Park and was charged back in March 2010 with theft of government funds. The investigation was prompted by a state attorney after a local high school superintendent made some inquiries about a matter McCombs was allegedly working on. The lawyer’s lack of response called attention to further discrepancies, misrepresentations and fraud. Once the fraud was discovered, he was immediately fired from Greenberg Traurig, though, as the ABA Journal reports, he may have been practicing on his own and still remains a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois.
Prosecutors for the city stated that McCombs did not attempt to personally profit from the overbilling scheme, but rather sought to increase prestige and standing at his firm. McCombs was taken into custody following the Cook County Circuit Court ruling by Judge Jorge Alonso. His attorney told the Am Law Daily that McCombs is “extremely sorry and regrets letting down the legal profession and his family.”