CINCINNATI —The Ohio Supreme Court has permanently disbarred a Cincinnati attorney convicted of stealing $9 million that a deceased client had meant to go to charities.
In a 6-0 decision announced Wednesday, the court found that former attorney Robert Leon Schwartz’s actions show he was dishonest and untrustworthy and shouldn’t be allowed to practice law.
The 72-year-old pleaded guilty to felony counts of mail fraud and filing a false income-tax return, and was sentenced to four years in prison in 2010.
The government said Schwartz used much of the $13 million left behind by his client, Beverly Hersh, on himself and on homes for friends and family, instead of distributing it to charities as she had instructed.
At his sentencing, Schwartz apologized and said he had dishonored his profession.
Cincinnati attorney permanently disbarred for stealing $9 million
Money was meant to go to charities
December 12, 2012
Cincinnati Attorney Gets 4 Years For Mail Fraud
June 8, 2010
CINCINNATI —A Cincinnati attorney will spend four years in prison for diverting millions of dollars to his own accounts instead of organizations he was supposed to support.
Federal prosecutors said Robert L. Schwartz, 70, pleaded guilty last year to mail fraud.
According to court documents, Schwartz helped establish an estate plan and trust agreements for a client in 2003. When the client passed away in 2005, the estate was worth approximately $12 million.
The documents state that Schwartz was supposed to make distributions from the estate, including approximately $2,502,469 to the charitable organization, Hadassah, The Women?s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., also known as Hadassah Hospital.
Instead, prosecutors said Schwartz routed the majority of the trust funds through accounts or entities he controlled and used most of the money, more than $9 million, for personal expenditures and asset purchases for family members, employees, friends and close associates.
On Tuesday, Schwartz was sentenced to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $2,292,469 to Hadassah Hospital and $935,217 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.