Lawyer stole $890k from clients
24 February 2017
An Australian solicitor who practised law for 40 years has been sentenced to jail for ripping off clients to the tune of AUD890,000.
65 year old lawyer Margaret Faith Rimmer appeared before a Queensland court charged with four offences of defrauding her clients. The prosecution told the court that Rimmer had been a person of "impeccable character in a position of trust
" with a previously "unblemished
" record. However, it was discovered that she stole money from clients' accounts, which included taking AUD405,000 from a "very vulnerable
" 91 year old woman. Of the AUD 890,000 that Rimmer stole in total, she has paid back AUD 200,000 with a whopping AUD 690,000 outstanding.
||One of Rimmer's clients takes the news well
Rimmer entered an early guilty plea. Her defence lawyer said it was
possible that a prescription drug that Rimmer took, combined with
depression, had contributed to a "compulsive behaviour
" which led to a gambling addiction and thieving.
The presiding judge agreed that the drug had a "material contribution to the offending
". However he held that the lawyer "still knew what she was doing as she tried to cover the dishonesty up
". The judge took into consideration Rimmer's age and medical condition and sentenced her to five years in prison, to be suspended after 20 months service.