Wichita attorney sentenced to probation for stealing from client's trust money
A Wichita attorney has been sentenced to 24 months of probation for stealing nearly $1 million of a woman's trust money.
A Sedgwick County District Court judge sentenced Larry Toomey Friday to 24 months probation. The judge says if he violates the probation, he could spend 26 months in prison.
Records show Toomey spent more than $961,000 from the 103-year-old woman's bank accounts over seven years. The woman was in poor health and living in a nursing facility.
Toomey says he used half of the money for gambling and admitted he was a compulsive gambler. He insists some of the money he spent was a gift from the woman.
During sentencing, the victim's family told the judge that Toomey continues to visit the woman.
Toomey said while the woman doesn’t remember any of her family because of dementia, he says she still remembers him.
The judge ordered Toomey to cease contact with the victim.
The woman's family read statements in front of the judge and Toomey saying he abused his power.
Karen Rader is one of the family members.
"They trusted Mr. Toomey as an attorney, they chose to give him friendship, they chose to give him kindness, and unfortunately they chose to give him power over their estate," said Rader.
The family says they want to make sure other families are aware it can happen.
"I don't doubt Mr. Toomey became an attorney with intentions of bringing justice to this world, but somewhere along your journey, you lost the ability to handle the power you were given," said Rader.
Toomey did give back about $125,000 to the woman. He also was ordered to give up his law license and has since been disbarred.