Louisville attorney David Cary Ford was criminally charged on federal counts of wire fraud and money laundering on Tuesday. The charges stem from alleged unauthorized withdrawals of nearly $1.7 million from estates for which he was the executor.
As IL reported last week, Ford was sued in two civil cases last fall for allegedly stealing approximately $1.4 million from the estates of five clients, but the Western District of Kentucky’s U.S. Attorney’s Office also found additional fraudulent withdrawals from two other estates from 2008 to 2014.
A press release from the office stated that Ford used the unauthorized withdrawals from these estates “for personal expenses and enjoyment, including significant gambling activities.” Additionally, Ford is alleged to have mischaracterized these withdrawals as estate expenses and “laundered fraud proceeds by using funds from one estate to conceal the depletion of the funds from another estate.”
“Attorneys are professionally and ethically bound to serve their clients’ best interests,” stated U.S. Attorney John Kuhn. “We simply cannot tolerate attorneys or any other fiduciaries using their positions of trust to steal from those they are obligated to protect. This prosecution serves the principle of justice and vindicates the breach of a trust that is an absolutely essential component of a multitude of professional relationships.”
The IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the FBI conducted the investigation of Ford, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Snyder is the prosecutor. If convicted, Ford would face a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.