Crime & Courts

Ex-Wichita lawyer admits to stealing more than $132,000 from clients

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

An ex-lawyer from Wichita who stole money from his clients pleaded guilty to a federal embezzlement charge on Monday.

Christopher O’Brien, 69, admitted to taking more than $132,000 from the bankruptcy estate of a couple he represented, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister. The former attorney voluntarily surrendered his Kansas law license and agreed to pay more than $728,000 to the couple, Roger and Maria Altis, and others as a part of his plea agreement, McAllister said. He was charged in January.

O’Brien is due to be sentenced June 3. He faces up to five years in federal prison, McAllister said.

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Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle since 2010. She covers crime, courts and breaking news and updates the newspaper’s online databases. You can reach her at 316-268-6644. She’s an avid reader and mom of three in her non-work time.


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