find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Adelaide CBD · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
Freelance Project Finance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Australia
· Vario are looking for freelance lawyers with experience in project finance ideally within the renewable energy sector
View details
Vario Freelance Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Australia
· We are looking for lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Freelance Construction Lawyers
Category: Construction Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· We are looking for construction lawyers who appreciate the endless possibilities that a freelance career can offer.
View details
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Woman accused of collecting fees for fake firm

Woman accused of collecting fees for fake firm

A US woman is set to appear in court tomorrow (9 October) accused of creating a fake law firm and billing her former employer more than $US91,000 in legal fees.

Beryl Allison Velguth was charged with felony theft in August and is expected in Milwaukee County Circuit Court tomorrow for a preliminary hearing; if she is convicted she could face 10 years in jail, a $US25,000 fine, or both, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. 

According to the criminal complaint, the 51-year-old’s alleged deception was discovered when her employer, Milwaukee’s Lutheran Social Services, hired an outside consultant in November last year.

He noticed the organisation’s legal expenses were extremely high and began an audit; in one instance he saw bills for two separate law firms for the same case.

One of the firms was Howard Law and Legal Services, and the invoice did not provide an address or phone number; the firm was not on the State Bar of Wisconsin website and the consultant could not find a listing elsewhere.

According to the complaint, further investigation uncovered that cheques written to Howard Law and Legal Services were being mailed to Velguth’s address; the cheques were deposited into a bank account bearing her name and home address and doing business in the name of the fake firm. Bank surveillance also captured Velguth conducting business using the account.

It was discovered that between October 2012 and April 2013, eight cheques were written from Lutheran Social Services to Howard Law and Legal Services totalling more than $US91,000, the Journal Sentinel reported; Velguth had the authority to write cheques in her position at Lutheran Social Services.

Folklaw just wonders how on earth Lutheran Social Services failed to notice $US91,000 being spent that shouldn’t have been – how much money does the organisation have?

Velguth left the organisation of her own accord in April, telling co-workers she was leaving to attend medical school, which perhaps was true as, if these allegations are true, she certainly would have been able to afford it.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Woman accused of collecting fees for fake firm
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Debate rises over Victorian judiciary attack
Jan 24 2018
Debate rises over Victorian judiciary attack
The Victorian Bar has become the latest to go on record condemning recent political attacks on the V...
Michelle Quigley QC
Jan 24 2018
Vic Barrister who helped stop major heritage redevelopment joins Supreme Court
Michelle Quigley QC, who assisted a coalition to oppose the redevelopment of St Heliers villa estate...
Building, construction
Jan 24 2018
Building for NSW coroner’s complex slated for early 2019
Efforts to relocate the state coroner’s facilities from Glebe to Lidcombe are on track, according ...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...