More News:

September 10, 2015

Bucks County lawyer sentenced for defrauding client's estate of $2.3 million

Randall Scott, 72, deliberately mishandled federal tax filings and estate management to divert money into accounts under his control

A Doylestown attorney who specialized in estate and probate matters will spend 48 months in prison after he was sentenced Thursday for defrauding a client's estate of $2.3 million, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Randall Scott, 72, maintained his law office, Randall Scott Associates, in Warrington, Pennsylvania. On March 25, 2015, he pleaded guilty to mail fraud, tax evasion, and attempting to interfere with administration of internal revenue laws, and failure to file income tax returns.

While representing the estate of John C. Bready, Scott diverted approximately $2,317,917.67 worth of estate funds to his law office account. Bready's estate, valued at more than $6 million when he died in 2005, required the filing of a federal estate tax return, which would have drawn out $520,351 for payment to the IRS.

Scott purposely failed to file the return so that he could maintain enough money in the estate to pay beneficiaries without them noticing the theft.

When the estate's executor died in October 2009, Scott did not disclose this event in order to continue to receive money intended for the estate at his law firm. He would forge the deceased executor's signature and deposit funds intended for the estate to accounts under his control. A successor executor was told by Scott to sign a document renouncing that position so that Scott could continue to forge the signature and divert funds belonging to the estate.

In addition to his prison term, Scott was ordered to provide restitution to the estate in the amount of $2,317,917.67. He was also sentenced three years of supervised release and a $375 special assessment.