An ex-personal injury lawyer, accused of spending millions of dollars from 135 clients to fund a posh, jet-set life that included trips to a nudist resort and African big game hunts, has been sentenced to over eight years in prison.
Lori E. Deveny, 57, was sentenced this week to 101 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay her victims $4.6 million in restitution.
She was indicted on 24 counts of fraud, failure to file federal income tax returns, and other financial and tax crimes in May 2019. She pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, filing a false income tax return, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
“It’s hard to overstate the extraordinary impact Ms. Deveny’s crimes had on the many innocent and vulnerable victims who trusted her,” District of Oregon U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit Chief Ethan Knight said in a U.S. Department of Justice attorney-sentenced-more-eight-years-federal-prison-embezzling-client”news release. “As a former attorney, she had a special responsibility to her clients and to the public, but she repeatedly abused this trust and prioritized her own needs. This is a just sentence for serious crimes.”
Deveny won millions of dollars for her clients as a personal injury attorney over the years. Those funds were intended to be spent on their rehabilitation and other healthcare treatment. Instead, the lawyer embezzled the funds “to support a lifestyle that most people only dream of,” prosecutors noted in a sentencing memo.
The excesses included spending more than $220,000 on cigars and “related expenses,” over $150,000 on airfare, $173,000 on African safaris and big game hunting expeditions, $35,000 on taxidermy for her trophy kills, $125,000 on home renovations, $195,000 in mortgage payments, $58,000 on pet boarding, and $60,000 on repeat stays