Utah lawyer who pleaded guilty to fraud ordered law firm shut down and told clients he was a criminal


Calvin Curtis had credit cards with combined limits of over $ 92,000. Now he can’t charge more than $ 2,000.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Real estate attorney Calvin Curtis, who pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and money laundering charges earlier this month, was ordered to immediately resign from his position as a director, to close his law firm within 30 days and to tell all his current clients that he is a convicted felon, his lawyer said.

Salt Lake City lawyer who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges in November was ordered to immediately resign as a director, shut down his law firm within 30 days and to tell all of his current clients that he is a convicted felon, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Calvin Curtis, 61, was also limited to using a single credit card, which must have a limit of $ 2,000 or less. He is not allowed to open new lines of credit.

The new requirements were established during a court hearing on Friday regarding a petition filed by prosecutors last week.

American lawyers had asked Curtis to stop accumulating his credit card balances and immediately stop working as a lawyer. But the judge allowed Curtis to take a 30-day “relaxation period” to complete his legal practice, as long as he doesn’t take on new clients, his lawyer, Greg Skordas, said. Curtis can also no longer serve as a trustee or act as a trustee.

After closing his law firm, Curtis will need to find a full-time job that doesn’t involve legal work, according to Skordas.

The Justice Department accused Curtis of embezzling at least $ 9.5 million from clients of his estate planning firm – many of whom were vulnerable in one way or another – and then using the money to fund a “lavish lifestyle”. In total, federal prosecutors have charged Curtis with fraudulently embezzling funds from at least 22 trusts since 2008.

Curtis is currently at large awaiting his conviction in March as a judge has determined he is unlikely to flee and poses a danger to no one.

According to prosecutors ‘request, Curtis’ terms of release stipulated that he could not incur new credit charges or open new lines of credit. Curtis had argued that he was allowed to use his cards within existing credit limits.

Curtis had planned to use his credit cards to pay for several expenses for his girlfriend, including his rent of $ 5,995 in Florida, his moving expenses of $ 3,000 and a security deposit and a month’s rent in his house. new home, according to documents. He also said he was behind on several bills, including child support.

Curtis had “many” credit cards, according to the motion, including one with a limit of $ 30,000, one with a limit of $ 27,500 and one with a limit of $ 35,000.

“It is an affront to justice to allow Mr. Curtis to pay the rent and moving expenses (combined) of another person while the victims literally lose millions of dollars,” the US attorneys said in the request.

In light of Curtis’ criminal case, the Utah Bar filed a motion on Dec. 1 to deregister him, court documents show. The Office of Professional Conduct has also filed a motion for Curtis to be immediately provisionally suspended from practicing law, claiming his guilty pleas “undermine his honesty, reliability and suitability as a lawyer”, indicate documents.

On Tuesday, Skordas said he and Curtis planned to accept the petition, but with the understanding that Curtis would be allowed to shut down his law firm..

Curtis also sold his mansion on South Temple, which prosecutors claimed to have renovated with millions of dollars in embezzled money. Skordas predicted that Curtis would get around $ 1,250,000 for the house, and that all proceeds would go towards restitution he had to pay the victims.

In total, Curtis will likely end up paying around $ 15 million in restitution, Skordas said.

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