Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ponzi Schemer Might Get Five Years In Federal Prison

Court FightRobert Telthorst, a Kansas attorney, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. The attorney was accused of "stealing more than $460,000 from client trust funds in a Ponzi scheme." Telthorst admitted that he took money to cover up the fact that he was taking money from other clients' trust accounts. Telthorst began to take money from the clients' accounts after he was appointed to become the administrator the trusts. In one instance, he was appointed to administer the trust of man named "Otto K." Otto K. had a trust that was worth $463,344 for the benefit of his two daughters. The trust stated that he wanted to give his first daughter, Sherri T., a lump sum of money, while he wanted his second daughter, Marlene O., to receive monthly payments. Before he granted the lump sum to Sherri. T, Telthorst took $22,000 from the lump sum. In the case of the second daughter, Telthorst took more than $200,000 from her trust. He also took from the educational trusts of another client. There he depleted the three trusts that worth $10,000 each. He also drained the charitable trusts of two other clients worth $80,000. 

A court is ready to sentence Telthorst. The court will likely give him five years in federal prison, and order restitution in the amount of $460,000. 

See David Lee, Admitted Ponzi Schemer Could Get Five Years, Courthouse News Service, Nov. 14, 2012.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention


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