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961,897 reasons Wichita lawyer is charged with taking from client; gambling’s involved

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A Wichita lawyer told an FBI agent that he was a compulsive gambler being treated for the addiction — who used some of his elderly client’s trust money for his gambling.

He used the money for a lot more than gambling and luxury cars, according to an affidavit filed in the criminal case against the lawyer, Larry Toomey.

In all, Toomey took $961,897.25 from the woman’s accounts and spent it in ways that didn’t benefit his client, the affidavit says. The woman, identified only by her initials, is now 103 and living in a Wichita nursing home. The affidavit — a court document signed by an investigator and detailing why someone was arrested and charged — was released Wednesday after The Eagle requested it from Sedgwick County District Court.

On Wednesday evening, Toomey’s attorney, Steven Mank, wouldn’t comment on the affidavit. Last month, after Toomey was charged, Mank said, “Mr. Toomey looks forward to having his day in court.”

Toomey, 70, is facing five felony charges in state District Court, including theft, mistreatment of a dependent adult and mistreatment of an elderly person.

The affidavit released Wednesday lists — right down to the last cent, according to an FBI forensic accountant — how Toomey allegedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his client’s trust money.

“There were expenditures,” the affidavit says, “for gambling, auto purchases, retail/shopping, loan payments, landscaping, roofing, carpet, auto repairs, credit card payments, jewelry, furniture, ATM withdrawals, dining, entertainment, animal boarding, gun range, and other expenditures totaling $778,323.31.” Toomey deposited only about $5,200 into the account, it says.

“Some notable transactions” from the one bank account included “gambling transactions for a total of $395,826.”

Also, $104,357 went to local car dealers to buy a Mercedes-Benz, a Porsche and a Jaguar, the court document says.

About $13,000 is thought to have gone to pay Toomey’s property taxes on his Wichita home, it says.

Another $4,610 paid rent for one of his family members, it says.

Those expenditures occurred from October 2011 to December 2014.

Between August 2014 to May 2016, nearly $180,000 of his client’s money from a different bank account was spent on gambling, landscaping, credit card payments, dining, homeowner’s association dues, lawn service, utilities and other items, the affidavit says.

“This amount includes over $100,000.00 in transactions at Kansas Star Casino,” the document says. The Eagle previously reported that one of the listed witnesses in the criminal charges is an enforcement agent with the Kansas Gaming and Racing Commission at Kansas Star Casino.

During an interview with an FBI special agent this past November, Toomey said “he’d made authorized purchases between May and June 2014 at the Kansas Star Casino,” the affidavit says. The document was compiled by Clint Snyder, a criminal investigator in the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting Toomey.

Toomey told the FBI agent that his client owed him more than $200,000 in legal fees for his representation of her since 2011, the affidavit says.

After the interview with the FBI agent, checks for almost $128,000 were deposited into the client’s accounts, it says.

This past December, Toomey, with his attorney present, explained to the FBI agent that he had been a lawyer for the woman and her late husband in the 1990s and took over as trustee in 2011.

Toomey said he had “durable power of attorney and medical power of attorney” for the woman, who was 102 at the time. He described her as being in poor mental and physical health.

He said he had gotten authority from her “to spend money from her trust account up to $550,000.00 as he saw fit,” it says.

A July 2012 memo said she wanted to give him $550,000 as “an expression of gratitude for all that he has done for her over the years,” the affidavit says. “He said that he used some of the money for gambling but that it was authorized. He said that any gambling winnings went back into the account.”

Meanwhile, it says, Toomey knew that an Oklahoma woman had been listed as a beneficiary in his client’s trust.

But the Oklahoma woman said she never received any records or updates from Toomey although she had been listed as a beneficiary as early as July 2008, the affidavit says. The client’s original trust said that all beneficiaries should receive a written accounting, including distributions from the account, at least every six months.

When it was all over, the affidavit said, Toomey had violated his professional responsibilities and the Kansas Uniform Trust Code for seven years, until this past March.

The investigators suspected, the affidavit says, that “the crime was concealed by the fact that Toomey didn’t keep a beneficiary” informed of expenditures from the trust.

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