What is White Collar crime?
A Wichita attorney who spent nearly $1 million of an elderly client’s trust money — including using some to feed a gambling addiction — has pleaded guilty to two counts of felony theft, court records show.
An affidavit released to The Eagle last year says Larry Toomey took $961,987.25 from the 103-year-old woman’s bank accounts starting in 2011 and spent it on a litany of personal expenses including landscaping and home improvements, jewelry, furnishings, animal boarding, homeowner’s association dues, a family member’s rent and luxury cars. He spent at least $395,826 on gambling transactions and $100,000 at the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane, the affidavit says, and told investigators he was a compulsive gambler who had sought treatment for gambling addiction.
Prosecutors allege Toomey for seven years violated his professional responsibilities to the woman, whom he told an FBI agent was in poor mental and physical health and had been living in a Wichita nursing home.
In the FBI interview, Toomey explained the expenses by saying the woman gifted him with $550,000 from the accounts to spend as he saw fit as “an expression of gratitude for all that he has done for her over the years.”
He also told investigators that she owed him more than $200,000 in legal fees that he hadn’t collected “because he considered (the woman) ... as more of a friend than a client,” the affidavit says.
Prosecutors originally charged Toomey, 71, with five felonies but some of those were dropped in exchange for his plea.
The two theft counts to which Toomey pled say he unlawfully obtained or exerted unauthorized control over $25,000 to $100,000 of the woman’s money — once between 2011 and 2018 and again from 2014 to 2018 — according to an amended complaint filed Tuesday in Sedgwick County District Court.
He is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 4.